Maguindanao Massacre

Maguindanao Massacre was a political killing that happened in Ampatuan, southern Philippines in 2009. As a result of the Maguindanao Massacre, fifty seven people lost their lives. Majority of those who were killed were journalists who were to cover the registration of opposition candidate in impending elections. The murderers used a backhoe owned by the government to dig a ditch, and then buried the dead bodies at the scene.

Maguindanao Massacre has remained to be the worst-ever act of political violence in the history of the Philippine. The massacre also holds the worst world record on journalists attack. Until this day, the awful details of the Maguindanao Massacre are still fresh in the minds of many people.

Impunity Culture

Although Benign Aquino III, a popular president of Philippine promised swift investigations and persecution of the murderers, no convictions have been made up to this far. Witnesses and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have been silenced with money. Violence has been applied where bribes have failed. Dennix Sakal, a former driver to one of the main suspects was shot dead on his way to meet the prosecutors of the state. Other three witnesses died in a similar shocking circumstance.

Philippine had been termed the worst nation for journalists prior to Maguindanao Massacre. About two decades ago, over hundred journalists have been murdered in Philippine while doing their duty. Surprisingly, the murderers escape without any prosecution or charges. This reflects the extent of unscrupulous culture in Philippine.

Government Failure

Philippine president, Aquino should have stopped unethical practices in his nation in the beginning of his reign. However, the handling of Maguindanao Massacre by the government and excessive use of force against media is an implication of great failure. According to reports from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), most journalists were murdered in the first months of President Aquino’s regime.

In a press conference with US President, Barrack Obama, President Aquino seemed to bungle with his responses when asked to explain what his government was doing about Maguindanao Massacre. Many were left astonished by how President Aquino bungled over a fundamental reality of Maguindanao Massacre. President Aquino argued that the justice was delayed because the murdered journalists were considered corrupt.

Journalism scion has spread widely in Philippine for several years. According to Shawn Crispin, a consultant to journalists’ protection committee, the lack of jurisdiction on Maguindanao Massacre purely bolstered the journalists’ murders. The big question has remained, if the murderers in the worst ever journalists attack in world history could escape without being prosecuted, what message the Philippine government was sending to the world.


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