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Vigil to mark 1,000th day since the Maguindanao Massacre
A vigil set this Sunday in Quezon City will mark the 1,000th day since the infamous Maguindanao massacre that claimed more than 50 lives on November 23, 2009.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said the vigil will start at 4 p.m. at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani near the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue.
Expected to attend the vigil that will last until 9 a.m. Monday are journalists, press freedom advocates, families of victims, and artists, it said.
"The activity aims to remember the fallen victims of the massacre, 32 of whom are members of media. The continued killings of journalists and refusal of Congress to pass the Freedom of Information Law have underscored the dire state of press freedom in the country," it said.
Among the media groups taking aprt in the vigil are the NUJP, Philippine Press Institute, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and networks ABS-CBN and GMA7.
For this vigil, the NUJP said it will collaborate with artists’ groups, cultural singers, poets, actors and other artists to share songs and poems "that tackle injustice and the continuing impunity under President Benigno Aquino III’s watch."
"Families of victims will be there to give out messages. Journalists and freedom advocates will also perform," it added.
In General Santos City, meanwhile, families of massacre victims will hold a press conference at the Forest Lake Memorial Park in General Santos at 4 p.m. Sunday.
This will be after a Mass and motorcade around the city.
Relatives of the victims will also exhibit art works made by victims of media killings.
Social media advocates will also join the commemoration by posting and sharing blogs and photos on the issue.
The NUJP said the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre alarmed not only the Philippines but also international human rights and press freedom groups.
"But despite the attention it has received, families of victims of the have yet to find justice," it said.
It noted that of the 196 officials, police and militiamen accused in the case, 96 were arrested and 76 were arraigned - but 100 of them, including some of the Ampatuans primarily accused, have remained at large. — ELR, GMA News
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