One month after the Ampatuan Maguindanao Massacre:

Nationwide vigil for justice held


Bantayog ng mga Bayani,  Quezon City


December 23, 2009



Bonus Tracks:


The backhoe as mass murder weapon

and as parol-protest at the UP Lantern Parade 2009


Video clips






Lalaging May Silyang Nakalaan sa Iyo
ni Alexander Martin Remollino


Para sa amin,
isang salang kasimbigat ng pamamaslang
ang isiping hindi ka na babalik,
hindi ka na uupo kailanman
sa silyang lalaging nakalaan sa iyo
sa tuwing almusal, tanghalian,
minindal at hapunan.
Bagama't natutuhan na namin
ang tanggaping maaaring naganap na
ang pinakamasaklap sa lahat,
umaasa pa rin kami sa pagsapit ng araw
na muli ka naming makakahuntahan
sa harap ng hapag at mga pagkain --
kahit na ang bawat sandali ng pagtatanong
kung nasaan ka kaya
ay parang pagkaladkad sa amin
sa ibabaw ng mga bato at lupa
papunta sa sasakyang magdadala sa amin
sa impiyernong may apat na dingding,
parang paulit-ulit
na panununtok sa panga't tadyang
at pag-uumpog ng ulo sa pader.

Lalaging may silyang nakalaan sa iyo,
ilanmang almusal at tanghalian,
minindal at hapunan
ang mairaos --
sapagkat ang ganitong paglalaan
ay pagkakait din ng katahimikan
sa mga gabi't araw ng mga umagaw sa iyo
at sa marami pang katulad mo.




December 23, 2009

One month ago today, the unthinkable and unimaginable mass slaughter of 57 innocent civilians – more than 30 of them working journalists – took place in Sitio Masalay, Salman village in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

There were arrests made and charges filed involving suspected masterminds, conspirators and perpetrators of the heinous crime.

However, the charges are moving slowly, an indication that this might just be another case of “Justice delayed, justice denied.”

The colleagues and families of the slain victims are just hoping that this time around the wheels of justice would move faster.

The Ampatuans, using their money and influence, are doing everything to cover up the crime. Their cohorts, many of them men-in-uniform, are reportedly trying to subvert and
tamper recovered evidence.

We urge all sectors to help us in our quest for justice. As Martin Luther King, Jr. had said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This could happen again anywhere in the country, where there is presence of similar ruthless warlords, if justice
is not served to the victims.

We appeal to all our national and international media colleagues to help us pursue and monitor the progress of the case.

We ask all freedom-loving Filipinos to never dare forget the November 23 Maguindanao massacre.

Our pride and reputation as a nation is at stake. Our hard-earned freedom of expression is at risk.


For more information, please contact Aquiles Zonio, General Santos City-based journalist: (0927) 6854926 and


Nationwide Vigil for Justice to Commemorate the First Month Anniversary of the Ampatuan, Maguindanao Massacre


Today is the day that we mark the first month anniversary of the most unspeakable atrocity committed against Filipino journalists together with those who set out to fulfill an electoral right in Maguindanao, a simple enough exercise that turned out to have far-reaching implications for human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

Today, as we stand resolute in shouting “Never again!” we do so with the hope that our call for justice for the Maguindanao massacre victims and their families does not fall on deaf ears.

Today, even as we note with some measure of optimism that the wheels of justice are finally moving in favor of justice, we should not lose sight of the greater challenge of digging out the roots of the monstrosity that was spawned in the first place by a culture of impunity, complicity and complacency.

Today, as we closely watch and monitor the prosecution of the case we also appeal to all citizens to do the same not only in the sense of civic spiritedness but to show that we truly and deeply care where this country is going.

Today, we call on those in the media and those who are served well by the functioning of a professional and truthful media not to waver in calling for greater governance accountability.

Today, we say we will not cease to call attention to wrongdoing, to the abuse of power, to the different manifestations of corruption, to the pollution of politics and the undermining of the electoral process.

Today, we renew our demand for the dismantling of private armies and political dynasties.

Today we mark the beginning of the end of the terrible nightmare that for so long has been conjured right before our very eyes by warlocks and demons disguised as leaders and messiahs of political, economic and social deliverance.

23 December 2009

Red Batario
Executive Director
Tel +63 2 376 5550




Invitation to the December 23 Nationwide Vigil for Justice

18 December 2009

Dear Friends,

Just as we are now deep into the Christmas rush, a persisting challenge to all of us is to never forget what happened almost a month ago in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Please join us in the Nationwide Vigil for Justice to mark the first month of the crime that that suddenly made our country as the most dangerous place for journalists now. Here are the details:

What: Nationwide Vigil for Justice
When: December 23 (Wednesday), from 6 to 7 p.m.
Where: Bantayog ng mga Bayani, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
(and parallel events in Davao, General Santos and other key cities in
Mindanao and other areas)

To continually call for justice for the 57 victims, including 30 journalists To keep watch of the prosecution of the cases

Lawyers and advocates assisting the families of the victims would provide updates on the legal aspects and the situation of those left behind. Journalists who have covered and continue to cover Maguindanao are also invited to share their experiences.

Bring your families and friends as we light candles and offer prayers for the victims and all other victims of violence and impunity.Justice remains elusive so we must continue working together to
achieve it, soonest.


The November 23 Movement *

Rorie Fajardo of PHRRP: (0905) 315 4986 and
Sonny Fernandez and Alwyn Alburo of NUJP: (0918) 9213712 and,
Trina Federis of CEGP: (0910) 4803098 and
Sweet Cawicaan of CCJD: 376-5550 and (0927) 9165160

* The November 23 Movement is a loose coalition of media organizations
calling for justice to fellow journalists and other innocent civilians
who were abducted, slaughtered and hastily buried in mass graves in
Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009. It has been calling for an
independent investigation of the crime that killed 30 journalists in a
single attack, suddenly catapulting the Philippines as the world’s
deadliest place for journalists.




‘Paraffin test for Ampatuan gun supplier not needed’
Date: 18 December 2009
Reference Person: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary general
Contact information: 0928-721-5313

KMU to Gibo: Where’s ‘Galing at Talino’ in not knowing where DND firearms went?

Mocking the government’s vow to probe how firearms marked with “Government Arsenal DND” landed in the Ampatuan clans’ property, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said Malacańang should “stop faking innocence even as it has fingerprints all over the evidence.”

KMU said a “parrafin test” for the Arroyo government is not necessary since “it is obviously the origin of the firearms, no matter how they will twist the investigation.”

“It cannot be denied that the Arroyo government armed the Ampatuans as a gesture of thanksgiving for generating miracles in previous elections. The ‘Butcher’ retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan even confirmed this. So why bother to investigate?” asked KMU secretary general Roger Soluta.

He also said that it is highly impossible for former Defense chief Gilbert Teodoro to overlook during his term the transfer of thousands of firearms and ammunition from the government warehouse to the Ampatuans.

“Teodoro does not need to claim that it’s ‘easy to trace’ the source of firearms of the Ampatuans. How could it be difficult when ‘DND’ is clearly marked on the unearthed firearms?” mocked Soluta.

“If Teodoro will continually brush aside the government’s direct involvment in the transfer of arms, he would just make it appear that his former department was an unwitting accomplice in the arming of Ampatuans. Is that what he calls ‘Galing at Talino’?

“Teodoro and his master Gloria should stop complicating the issue. The people cannot be fooled. We have long been convinced that this regime is the biggest supplier of firearms to warlords and landlords in the country,” he added.

KMU said Arroyo’s Executive Order 546, which took effect in 2006, legitimized the buildup of private armies in the country in a vain effort to quell national liberation forces like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the New People’s Army.

“Arroyo regime made it easy for the Ampatuan clan to amass and organize a private army, which became the beasts that they are now. That is the bottomline of the massacre,” said Soluta. #




13 December 2009
reference: Sophia Garduce, spokesperson 0928-508-9104


A child rights group cautiously welcomed the signing of a law punishing war crimes or RA 9851 last Friday and quickly added that President Arroyo must be the first to be tried with this newly enacted law, together with her butchers, the Ampatuans, Jovito Palparan, and other military perpetrators of human rights violations.

“Arroyo and her minions owe so much to the victims and orphans of massacres, extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations, and this war crimes law may serve as the gavel to break the climate of impunity," said Sophia Garduce spokesperson of SALINLAHI Alliance for Children's Concerns, a nationwide alliance of child rights organizations.

“We are thankful that the efforts of human rights groups and the international community to exert great pressure on the Arroyo government to enact such law paid off. Without such pressure, Mrs. Arroyo would have allowed these human rights violations to continue because her government benefits from these,” she said.

She cautioned, however, that such law might turn out to be another instrument to be used against the critics of the Arroyo administration. “We know the record of the Arroyo government of using double edged swords purportedly to run against unlawful elements but in reality, these are aimed at Filipino patriots and activists that she loves to label as terrorists,” Garduce said.

The child rights group urged the families of victims of human rights violatioins to charge under RA 8951 President Arroyo, the Ampatuans, Palparan and other military personnel who committed grave human rights violations against their loved ones such as extra-judicial killings, massacres, abductions for the last nine (9) years of Arroyo's implementation of Oplan-Bantay Laya. “We are not under any illusion that the government will use this same law to point a gun at its head. This law must be availed of to the maximum remedy it can offer by the victims and their families themselves. And, if all local remedies fail, let's seek the help of the international community once again and indict Arroyo and her minions who, by remaining free from accountability for their dastardly actions, mock democracy and teach our future generation lessons in moral bankruptcy.” ended Garduce. ###


As the fight for justice for the 57 Ampatuan massacre victims gathers support not only here in the Philippines but also around the world, another incident of abductions involving a crime group in Agusan del Sur surprised the nation. The incident reportedly involves the abduction and hostage taking of 75 people, including 18 children. SALINLAHI appealed for the immediate peaceful and non-violent resolution of the hostage taking in Agusan del Sur and also lauded the effort of the local DSWD for negotiating the safe release of some of the hostages particularly children. Sophia Garduce the groups' spokesperson noted that the armed criminal groups proliferating particularly in Mindanao are actually former para-military groups like CAFGU and CAA, created by military to quell revolutionary groups. “These groups, the Ondo Perez group, the Ampatuan private army and even the Abu-Sayyaf are trained and armed by the AFP. Report after report, they are implicated in victimizing innocent civilians, including children, either independently or in service of the AFP itself,” Garduce said. She also added that even among the lumads, the military creates division by recruiting lumads into the Task Force Gantangan. “This group is also victimizing children in their psy-war operations. This was reported by the evacuees in Surigao in August this year when we sent our staff to the region together with a fact finding and humanitarian mission," she disclosed.

Salinlahi urged the Arroyo government to disarm and dismantle the CAFGU, CVO and other para-military groups, especially those that are also acting as private armies of warlords not only in Mindanao but also in other areas nationwide. “If indeed Mrs. Arroyo wants a real solution to the peace and order situation in Mindanao and elsewhere, she must not resort into a cowardly show of force. She must strike the roots of violence starting from her own policies of war-mongering”. Garduce ended. ###




Alisin ang piring sa mata ng sambayanan!
Pagpupugay sa mga taong-midya na nagtataguyod sa katotohanan at interes ng sambayanan


Nais kong makiisa sa National Democratic Front-Mindanao sa isinasagawa nitong programa ng pagkilala at pagpugay sa mga taong-midya na nag-aambag sa pagsisikap ng sambayanang Pilipino na itaguyod ang katotohanan, ilantad ang pagsasamantala at pang-aapi sa mamamayan, iwaksi ang mga kasinungalingan ng mga bulok na naghahari, at tuluy-tuloy na itaguyod ang mga makatarungang interes ng mamamayan.


Nitong nagdaang halos isang dekada, nakapailalim ang mamamayang Pilipino sa paghahari ng isang buktot na rehimeng walang lubay sa pambabaluktot sa katotohanan at sa pagsisikap na maitago ang maraming krimen at katiwalian nito. Sa layong bulagin ang sambayanan, nagpakadalubhasa si Gloria Arroyo at ang mga masugid niyang tagasunod sa paglulubid ng buhangin at sa pambubusal o pagpapatahimik sa mga nakaaalam sa kanyang mga krimen at katiwalian.


Sa desperadong hangaring mapigilang kumilos at lumaban ang pinagsasamantalahan at inaaping mamamayan, ginawa ng naghaharing rehimen ang lahat para makulong pa sila sa kadiliman.

Sa harap ng paghahari ng kasinungalingan at pambabaluktot, naging napakahalaga ng papel ng masmidya sa pakikibaka ng mamamayan na ilantad ang katotohanan at isiwalat ang mga kasinungalinan at pambabaluktot. Gayon na lamang ang pasasalamat ng sambayanang Pilipino sa mga journalist, brodkaster, photographer, mananaliksik, cameraman at iba pang manggagawa sa masmidya na nagpamalas ng militansya para sa katotohanan. Nagpunyagi silang magtanong, mag-ungkat at magpalaganap ng katotohanan, laluna tungkol sa mga usaping mahigpit na nakasalang ang interes ng buong bayan o nakararaming mamamayan.


Nakikiisa ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa paglaban ng mga taong-midya para ipagtanggol ang kanilang propesyon laban sa pandarahas sa kanilang hanay. Kaalinsabay ng walang habas na pasistang atake ng mga armadong ahente ng estado laban sa mga aktibista at iba pang masugid na kritiko ng rehimen, ang masmidya ay partikular na target din ng karahasan ng mga pasistang pwersa ng estado at mga makapangyarihan na nagpupumilit na busalan ang kanilang bibig at baliin ang determinasyon ng mga mamamahayag na alamin at ilantad ang katotohanan. Mula 1992, halos isandaan nang manggagawa sa midya sa ating bansa ang pinaslang.


Nais naming ipaabot sa mga taong-midya na nakahanda ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan na makipagtulungan sa inyo para kamtin ang katarungan sa mga krimeng ito.


Sinusuportahan din ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ang pakikibaka ng sektor ng masmidya sa mga batas, hakbangin at panukalang yumuyurak sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag at nagtatangkang ipataw ang kapangyarihan ng estado sa masmidya.


Kasabay nito, hinihikayat namin ang masmidya na tuluy-tuloy na magbigay ng masusing pansin at pagsisiwalat sa mga mabibigat na isyu ng mamamayan at sa kanilang mga pakikibaka. Nawa'y magkaroon ng mas malaking espasyo sa mga pahayagan at oras sa radyo at telebisyon ang mga manggagawa at magsasaka at iba pang inaaping uri at sektor upang maipahayag nila ang kanilang mga hinaing at mapatampok ang kanilang mga ipinaglalaban.


Nais din namin kayong anyayahan na maglaan ng ilang panahon para makipamuhay sa loob ng mga sonang gerilya upang makita ninyo ang magagandang bunga ng pagsusulong ng rebolusyong agraryo; armadong pakikibaka; mga repormang pampulitika, sosyo-ekonomiko at kultural; at pagtatatag at pagpapatakbo ng bagong demokratikong gubyernong bayan kung saan umiiral ang Pulang kapangyarihang pampulitika. Sa pamamagitan ng inyong mga mata, nawa'y makita ng higit na nakararaming mamamayan, sa loob at labas ng bansa, ang rebolusyonaryong pag-asa para sa kinabukasan ng mga Pilipino.


Umaasa kami na patuloy tayong magtutulungan para sa pagsusulong ng patriyotismo, demokrasya, kaunlaran at interes ng sambayanan!




=============================================================== summary list of articles and news on

Maguindanao Massacre

Video clips
 Atty. Julius Matibag recites a poem on Peoples lawyers
Anak ni Aling Juan sings Mothers of the Disappeared
Jess Santiago sings Darating and Araw lighting candles for the victims of Ampatuan massacre
NUJP statement on Ampatuan massacre Prayer for victims of Ampatuan massacre

More photos and related lilnks here


Solidarity message re vcitims of Ampatuan massacre  
The backhoe as mass murder weapon......    




and as parol-protest at the UP Lantern Parade 2009