Sponsored by Amnesty International USA's Coordination Group for Southeast Asia.
Two Years and Still No Justice
The site of the massacre, photo by Hazel Galang
Hazel Galang, Amnesty's Southeast Asia Campaigner from London, is currently in the Philippines on this second anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. She reports:
I have come back from the massacre site a few hours ago. Personally, it was quite a harrowing experience to go to the site where a senseless politically-motivated killing of at least 57 people happened. I went with some civil society representatives and we had to go with some military escorts as the security threat was a bit high. Two bombs were found in the massacre site and the dirt road that lead to it this morning. They were detonated by the soldiers. Another grenade was confiscated in a public market close to the site.
Fifty-seven people, 32 of them jouralists, were killed in the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009. The victims were brutally killed and dumped in a mass grave on a hillside in the town of Ampatuan in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao.
Those killed were on their way to witness the filing of candidacy for a local politician when they were stopped by an estimated 100 armed men. Leaders of the powerful Ampatuan clan have been charged in connection with the killings but no prosecutions have been concluded.
Amnesty International groups around the world have held public events and memorials commemorating the second anniversary of the massacre. In the US, Philippine Country Specialist Nerve Macaspac organized a program at the San Francisco Public Library on the 22nd.