Students commemorate Int’l Day of Impunity


BAGUIO CITY — Students from various organizations and progressive youth groups commemorated the International Day of Impunity and the third year anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre with a seminar entitled People, the Press and the 2013 Elections; On Cybercrime and movie screening dubbed as Sine Karbengan at the University of Baguio (UB) last November 23.

WRITERS. Fellow writers and human rights advocates in Baguio City lit candles to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Maguindanao Massacre. The activity was lead by CEGP-BB and CHRA. Photo by Noel Godinez
Various groups attended the said seminar. Among the groups were the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), MediaTrix Communication of UB, BIBAK, Pinoy Media, Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Pinoy Media, Young Defenders, Political Science and Masscommunication students of UB, University of the Cordilleras (UC), Saint Luis University (SLU) and Baguio Central University (BCU).

According to CHRA General Secretary Jude Baggo, this activity commemorates the International Day of Impunity and the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre. He hopes that these activities would open the mind of the young people on the real issues happening in the country. He said that victims of extra judicial killings already reached more than 1000 but not a single perpetrator has been convicted.

Baggo states that its been three years now yet justice is elusive for the victims of the massacre. Fifty-eight people were killed, 32 were media personnel. He added that the body of journalist Reynaldo Momay is not yet found.

He added that it is not just about the number of victims, the fact that the killings and human rights violation continue is what is alarming. “People including students must participate condemning human rights violations and enforced disappearances caused by the state,” he stressed.

UB Supreme Student Council Prime Minister Jen Humbrebueno said that lectures in the seminar are not being discussed in the classrooms. She added that the lectures should not discourage the students but instead fuel their desire to change society and make it better.

Quinee Karen Payay, a Mass communication student of UC added that the media is instrumental in raising awareness on human rights issues and at the same time media practitioners are also prone to violations. She admitted that knowing about the threats that the media and media practitioners face today is very discouraging to students.

“But what is more frightening is that if media will no longer exist then information will be suppressed,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Luchie Maranan explained that Sine Karbengan will showcase movies of independent film makers who face harassment from the state because of their work. She added that these film makers reveal the real situations in the country through their works to raise the public’s awareness on human rights and the human rights situation. She added that through arts relevant issues can portrayed and this should not be ignored by the young people. #


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