Kawagib Moro human rights group, Suara Bangsamoro and Oblate of Notre Dame

light candles and demand justice for the victims for the Ampatuan Maguinndanao massaacre


Cotabato City



November 30, 2009





Cotabato City- KAWAGIB-Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights, Suara Bangsamoro together with Oblates of Notre Dame staged a candle lighting rally last November 27, 2009 at the City Plaza and organized the LUKSANG BAYAN last Nov. 30, 2009 also at the City Plaza



Photos courtesy of Suara Bangsamoro


Cotabato City- KAWAGIB-Alliance for the Advancement of Moro Human Rights, Suara Bangsamoro together with Oblates of Notre Dame staged a candle lighting rally last November 27, 2009 at the City Plaza and organized the LUKSANG BAYAN last Nov. 30, 2009 also at the City Plaza.


This indignation rally gathered different organizations here in the City to condemn and call for justice on the massacre of at least 64 people including media men, lawyers and supporters of Mangudadatu clan.
November 27, 2009
Media Release

Human rights group decry justice for lawyers and all other victims of Maguindanao Massacre

Cotabato City- Human rights group here mourns over the unexpected and inhumane killing of human rights lawyers Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia Oquindo including many other civilians in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Monday this week.

Atty. Brizuela not only served Lumads in North Cotabato who are victims of land grabbing by political clans, she had also unselfishly served Moro people who became victims of state terrorism.

Among cases she facilitated is the illegal arrest of Emran Gumanod who was accused as mastermind of bombing in Davao City, and after a month Gumanod was freed. She served also as lawyer to Faudzia Musa, Suara Bangsamoro member who is also a victim of illegal arrest and detention.

“We consider death of people’s lawyers like Atty. Conie and Cynthia as a great loss in the movement for social justice against tyrannical rulers, thus we vow to continue their fight until justice is served for the victims of human rights violations” according to the group.

We condemn to the highest possible terms the massacre of more than 60 civilians and call the attention of the international community to pressure the Arroyo administration and punish the murderers.

According to the group, the move of the Arroyo administration to dismantle the CAFGUs and SCAAs in Maguindanao, is not enough. She should lift EO 546 that legitimizes private armies and allows proliferation of arms of politicians. The CAFGUs and SCAAs are used by warlords to abuse their authority and violate human rights.

In the agreement signed into by the GRP and NDFP as product of their peace negotiation, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the government committed to review its policy on creating paramilitary groups.

Around 100 armed men reported to be members of CAFGUs and SCAAs recruited by the Ampatuans and trained by the 6th Infantry Division are accused to have executed the order to kill the civilians.

The Arroyo administration and the 6th Infantry Division have contributed in arming the civilians because of its unjust campaigns and declaration of all-out-wars in Maguindanao and other Moro communities. It had tolerated the culture of violence and impunity for a long time, Arroyo had never punished the perpetrators of human rights violations instead she commended the butchers.

KAWAGIB and various groups in Cotabato City staged indignation rally for the victims of the massacre in which 57 cadavers of women raped, journalists and civilians were recovered in the site of mass grave.######




Stop killing journalists!
Justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre!

The Antonio Zumel Center for Press Freedom joins the families and colleagues of the victims of the 23rd November Maguindanao massacre in mourning their senseless and violent deaths, and in condemning in the strongest terms the masterminds and perpetrators of this demonic act. Of the reported 64 victims, 30 are community journalists in Mindanao.

We join the call for an international fact-finding committee led by writers and journalists organizations, to investigate this carnage and bring justice for the victims and their families.

It has become clear to us that greed for political power drove the Ampatuan clan to commit this most abominable crime. It has also become clear to us that culpability for the carnage goes way up not only to the high officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Police, but also to the Presidential Palace. The obvious perpetrators of the crime have ruled with force and impunity the province of Maguindanao because they have the imprimatur of Gloria Arroyo and the high officials of the AFP and Police.

It does not come as a surprise to us that according to witnesses and evidence so far gathered, the massacre was premeditated and targeted the journalist-victims, and that the Police and the AFP were involved. Under the Arroyo government, journalists are seen as enemies of the state. Nowhere is this most evident than in the grim figures on the number of journalists killed, imprisoned or disappeared. Killing journalists has become state policy as evidenced by the counter-insurgency program of the AFP, Oplan Bantay Laya, targeting journalists among others, as state enemies.

But like other professionals who suffer the brunt of state violence and warlordism, Filipino journalists are holding their ground, despite the abominations they face. They continue to be dedicated and committed to reporting the truth – about human rights violations, political killings and disappearances, political warlordism, landgrabbing by big business and big landlords, and the unbridled graft and corruption from down the local police and AFP units up to the high levels of the AFP command and the Arroyo regime.

While we mourn this latest attack on journalists, we also celebrate the forging of greater unity and solidarity among all journalists, regardless of political persuasion, and of the further political isolation of those responsible for this attack not only upon journalists but also against unarmed, defenseless citizens waylaid along the way because they seek truth, justice and the defense of the poor and exploited.

Antonio Zumel Center for Press Freedom
30 November 2009