“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” (Lincoln, 1863)
One year ago was the day which will forever go down as an evil, dark day in our history.
One year ago more than 30 journalists were slaughtered in the line of duty, in a tragic event now known as the Ampatuan Massacre.
One year ago democratic participation was brazenly trampled upon by a well-entrenched political dynasty with no respect for the law.
One year ago, we were shamed as being ranked the most dangerous country for journalists by the international press. We hold that morbid distinction to this day.
One year ago, much more than 58 lives were lost. We lost our rights to a free, unfettered press. We lost our right to dignity and honor. Along the way, we lost our sense of nationhood.
Tinig ng Plaridel joins the College of Mass Communication in calling for the swift execution of justice for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre, no more, no less. But more importantly, we demand the state to aggressively push for genuine reforms that would forward media empowerment at all costs.
This of course, can only attained if the culture of impunity that has thrived in our society for so long is completely eradicated and replaced with a sense of shared transparency, commitment, and accountability between the state and the media. And thus we remain vigilant in this endeavor , because this is a fundamental freedom we as media practitioners ought to be enjoying. Not as a privilege, but as a right.
November 23, 2009. One year, and still no justice has been achieved. But we never forget. We remember.