Journalists hold demonstrations for Maguindanao massacre victims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2009 10:31 AM | Updated as of Dec 23 2009 06:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Groups of journalists will hold demonstrations on Wednesday to remember the massacre of 57 innocent people, majority of them members of local media, in various parts of the country.

A radio dzMM report said a group of journalists will hold a prayer rally at the Freedom Park in Davao City around 4 p.m.. It will be followed by another vigil of journalists at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani along EDSA in Mandaluyong City, Manila.

Another group called the November 23 Movement will also hold demonstrations in Quezon City.

The report said more groups will hold demonstrations in different parts of the country to remember the mass killing in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province, allegedly led by a member of the powerful political clan of the Ampatuans.

At least 29 of the massacre victims were journalists, mostly working for local newspapers and radio and TV stations in Mindanao.

The journalists accompanied a group of women supporters of Buluan town Vice-Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu who were supposed to file a certificate of candidacy for governor on his behalf last November 23.

The convoy of the group, led by Mangudadatu's wife and 2 sisters, were stopped and massacred by militiamen allegedly loyal to the Ampatuan clan.

Multiple murder charges have been filed in court against Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., who allegedly led the massacre. Police have also filed similar charges against clan patriarch former provincial governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and more than 200 other suspects.

Meanwhile, police said the number of massacre victims could be more than 57.

It said the Midland Review has told investigators that 2 of its correspondents identified as Jove Legarta and Reynaldo Momay, who accompanied the group of the Mangudadatus, have yet to be accounted for.

Three more families have also been looking for 3 more people who are supposedly part of the Mangudadatus' convoy. With a report from Noel Alamar, radio dzMM