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Philippines Urged To Assist Families of Slain Journalists

Philippines Urged To Assist Families of Slain Journalists During Trial

Washington, D.C., and Manila, Philippines, February 11, 2011
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis

Citing the unprecedented murder of journalists in the Philippines, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis issued an appeal to the government of the Philippines and a Quezon City Court to grant assistance to the family members of slain journalists and victims of the November 23, 2009, killings that left 57 people dead in Mindanao (Maguindanao).

“The brutal murder of 57 people, including 32 journalists, in Mindanao, in November of 2009, is an act of political violence and factional rivalry, that continues to shock the world community and societies around the globe that value press freedom,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and public policy research organization focused on international relations, human rights, refugee and security issues.

“As the trial goes forward, we urge the Philippine government and Quezon City Court to act responsibly toward the surviving family members that have been severely traumatized as a result of the massacre and gross human rights violations,” Smith continued.

“Clearly the massacre victims’ families should be granted psychosocial help during the judicial process and its aftermath since the mass killings of the journalists and their colleagues in 2009 was a unique and terrible violation of human rights and international law,” Smith said.

“The magnitude of the atrocity on that horrific day, November 23, 2009, warrants the full assistance of the Philippine government to help the survivors of the many slain journalists and victims,” Smith stated further.

The CPPA has raised repeated concerns about the infamous “Mindanao Massacre” involving the horrific mass murder of journalists in the town of Ampatuan in the Philippines in 2009 as well as the overall crisis situation in Mindanao.

“The recent courtroom collapse of Myrna Reblando, wife of the murdered Manila Bulletin journalist Bong Reblando, is but one example of why the surviving family members need the Philippine government’s emergency help in providing psychosocial help, especially during this important trial that is being watched by the international community,” Smith concluded.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented recent attacks on the press in the Philippines, and the Mindanao Massacre, and has assisted family members of the victims.

The Brussel, Belgium-based International Crisis Group has also issued repeated statements and reports about the killing of the journalists and has shed light on the national and political context.


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