International Pen Condemns Attack in Ampatuan
International PEN joins the international community in condemning the politically motivated attack in the Philippines on November 23, 2009, in which at least 17 journalists were killed. PEN calls on local authorities to take swift action to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
According to PEN’s information, at least 17 journalists were among the 57 people confirmed to have been killed when a convoy they were traveling in was attacked by gunmen in the Philippines on November 23, 2009. The convoy, which included journalists covering the forthcoming elections, was ambushed by approximately 100 gunmen men in Ampatuan town while on its way to register local politician Ishmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu as a candidate for the provincial gubernatorial elections. Ismael Mangudadatu has accused a clan that is reportedly allied with President Arroyo of being behind the attack.
The free expression organization Article 19 gives the following background:
Ampatuan is the home town of the incumbent governor Andal Ampatuan, and there are strong indications that the attack was politically motivated. According to the local media, Mangudadatu belongs to a clan that has been engaged in a long-running feud with the Ampatuan family, which has intermittently governed the region since 2001. This attack represents a troubling development in the Mindanao region, where Muslim rebels have been fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
PEN has been concerned about the high levels of attacks against journalists in the Philippines for a number of years. In the past five years, 13 have been killed in the practice of their professions, making the country among the most dangerous in which to practice journalism.
PEN is alarmed at the number of journalists who continue to be targeted with apparent impunity for their reporting in the Philippines, and calls upon the Filipino authorities to ensure that all acts of violence against journalists are vigorously investigated and prosecuted so that those responsible are brought to justice.
Write A Letter
- Condemning the politically motivated attack in the Philippines on November 23, 2009, in which at least 17 journalists were killed;
- Expressing alarm at the number of journalists who continue to be killed with impunity in the Philippines, and urging that all necessary steps are taken to ensure that all acts of violence against journalists are vigorously investigated and prosecuted so that those responsible are brought to justice
Send Your Letter To
Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Office of the President
New Executive Building, Malacanang Palace Compound
J.P.Laurel Street, San Miguel, Metro Manila
Fax: +632 735 80 06
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for the Philippines in your country if possible.