By Dexter Cabalza
Rain started to pour in the CMC veranda. The pool of CMC students and faculty in black shirts suddenly turned to a colorful display when they opened their umbrellas.
They endured the rain as they commemorated the second anniversary of the Maguindanao (Ampatuan) massacre Wednesday.
“Kapag tinitingnan natin itong mga imahe ng mga nasawi dito sa Ampatuan massacre ay nagiging tao sila sa atin, hindi lamang sa istatistika kung hindi taong may mga karapatan at paninindigan (When we look at the images of the people killed in the Ampatuan massacre, they become not only people in statistics but people with rights and dignity),” Dean Roland Tolentino said.
Tolentino led the lighting of the candles and the offering of 58 white roses signifying the number of victims of the massacre in the Bulwugan ng Malayang Pamamahayag.
CMC Student Council (CMCSC) Chairperson Norman Riego said President Aquino failed his people once again by not serving justice to the victims of Maguindano massacre and extrajudicial killings.
CMC organizations also condemned the media killings and the slow progress of the massacre trial in their statements.
“Sana hindi dumating ang araw na kumupas na ang ating itim na t-shirt at wala pa ring nakakamit na hustisya (May the day not come that our black shirts fade already and still no justice is served), CMCSC Journalism Representative Lysa Britannico said.
CMC students then marched around the Academic Oval and proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas to set a commemoration rally in Mendiola.
On Nov. 23, 2009, 58 people were killed, including 32 journalists, in Maguindanao while on their way to file the candidacy of then Buluan Vice-Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu. Mangadadatu is now the governor of Maguindanao
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent non-profit organization that promotes press freedom, tagged the Maguindano Massacre as the single worst mass killing of journalists in history.