Press Release
November 23, 2018

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on the 9th year of the Ampatuan massacre
Remember Ampatuan massacre, be vigilant vs repression and manipulation of press: Kiko

We can only count the years that have gone by since the massacre of 58 people in Maguindanao, but we have nothing to reckon as victory.

Nine years later, the same conditions that led to the massacre persist -- the dominance of warlords and corrupt clans, the impunity of the powerful who can get away with murder, the fundamentally flawed justice system.

To make matters worse, we have an administration that does not acknowledge deaths due to extrajudicial killings but instead thrive on fake news and misinformation to get back at its critics. We see altered and controlled public disclosure to suit the purpose of the ruling power.

Under this situation, freedom of the press and the people's right to know are restricted.

The cases of killings, death threats, surveillance of media agencies and journalists, libel, online harassment, website attacks, revoked registration or denied franchise renewal, and verbal abuse have made the practice of journalism even more perilous.

Today, against this backdrop, we remember those who were killed in the Ampatuan massacre to call for justice and vigilance against repression and manipulation of the press.

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