MANILA—The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Wednesday launched activities for its month-long commemoration of the “Maguindanao massacre”, which happened 10 years ago on Nov. 23.
Members of the NUJP were at the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications building in Diliman, Quezon City, where they lit 58 candles representing the same number of victims who died in the mass murder.
"Umaasa kami at nananawagan na rin na magkaroon na ng promulgation sa kasong ito. Ang 10 taon ay masyado ng matagal. Kailangan na ng hustisya ang mga biktima ng ampatuan massacre," said NUJP deputy secretary-general Raymund Villanueva.
He also said the group wished for Zaldy Ampatuan to become healthy again so he can be tried for the killings.
Ampatuan, one of the primary suspects, was hospitalized Monday afternoon and diagnosed with cardiovascular disease secondary to cardiac dysrhythmia or abnormal heart beat, said Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) spokesperson Chief Insp. Xavier Solda said Wednesday.
The group encouraged media members to join in seeking justice for their colleagues' deaths.
"Isipin natin kung walang hustisya sa mga biktima ng Ampatuan massacre . . . Mabibigyan ng lakas ng loob ang mga warlord, ang kahit na sino, lalo na sa kasalukuyang administrasyon, na atakehin ang mga mamamahayag bawa't makaramdam sila ng o meron silang kinagagalit sa ating mga ulat," Villanueva said.
Among those slain in the 2009 massacre were 32 journalists and several members of the Mangudadatu clan, rival of the Ampatuans.
Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., the Ampatuan clan patriarch who allegedly masterminded the massacre, passed away in 2015.
—With a report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News