STATEMENT OF THE UP MUSLIM STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION IN COMMEMORATION OF THE AMPATUAN MASSACRE
Twelve months ago, we witnessed the irrefutably, one of the worst election-related violence that took fifty-eight (58) lives – thirty-two (32) of them journalists – in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009. As Muslim Filipinos, we are extremely disgusted, ashamed, and horrified over the gruesome killings that not only took innocent lives, but also left a negative imprint, however superficial, on the already tarnished image of Mindanao and the Bangsamoro people.
We are in one with the Philippine society in commemorating and condemning in strongest possible terms such barbaric act. We also express our deepest condolences to the relatives of the victims.
The brutal killings may be shocking but the underpinnings of the incident are not novel. Political dynasties, warlordism, the Philippines as the most dangerous country for journalists, just to name some.
The Ampatuan Massacre is hence both a dagger and an energizer, wounding us with the painful realities of our society, and at the same time, awakening us to fight for justice and to strive for genuine social change.
It is fitting that one year (and even more years) from the incident; we continue to keep a close watch on the developments of the Ampatuan case. We call on the national government to award and strengthen the witness protection program to the witnesses to ensure their security and their respective families. To stop the alleged VIP treatment for the Ampatuans, and to expedite
We salute the media for the unwavering display of bravery in informing the public on the developments of the case and in exposing matters of public concern. We call on them to continue fighting for justice and freedom of expression.
We call on the concerned local government units to exert extensive efforts in searching for the body of Reynaldo “Bebong” Momay, the 58th victim.
We call on our fellow Muslims to show a resounding damnation of this carnage, and to join hands with the authority for the speedy disposition of the case.
We call on everyone to remain vigilant. Let us not forget. Let us not falter.