Wednesday, May 05, 2010

US to press resolution for Nov. 23 carnage

MANILA, Philippines - The United States government has vowed to continuously pressure the Philippine government to go after and prosecute the criminals behind the bloody Maguindanao massacre, The Manila Times reported.

“We will continue to urge that the Philippine government aggressively and thoroughly pursue and bring to justice those responsible for the killings,” US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. said in his message for the World Press Freedom Day.

Thomas Jr. was referring to the November 23, 2009 carnage wherein at least 57 people including 30 journalists were killed and buried using a backhoe in a matter of hours in one day. Witnesses of the Maguindanao killings have pointed out to Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. who allegedly used his armada of private armies to stage the massacre and neutralize his political rivals in the upcoming May elections in the process.

“The November 23 massacre was met with horror, shock and outrage in the Philippines, in America, and around the world. The United States condemned that atrocity in the strongest possible terms. Americans stand together with Filipinos in support of the members of the press, who labor every day to expose truth and enhance accountability,” Thomas pointed out.

The US envoy cited that in 1948, both the US and the Philippines as well as many other nations adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which include the fundamental principle that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“The role of a free press is just as much a pillar of democracy as elections are,” he added. (Llanesca T. Panti)

No comments: