In just two days after the grim massacre in Maguindanao allegedly due to political rivalry, the Philippines has now overtaken Iraq as the most dangerous place for journalists, said the International Federation of Journalists. You can read about the article here.
All in one day, at least 12 media persons from local TV, print, and radio were killed, some were even buried in a shallow grave.
My heart bleeds for these people, who lost their loves just because they were doing their job. Until now, it's hard to stomach that this "for the movies" scenario does happen in real life.
There is also one account from one of the reporters spared from this grisly attack on human rights. He and other reporters detoured to a hotel to get some things and eventually was not included in the convoy that was attacked.
At his article, which you can read in this Inquirer website, you will learn that:
1. Esmael Mangadadatu requested for escorts from the police and military, but was turned down;
2. Mangadadatu allowed the women, including his wife, to file his certificate of candidacy because in their tradition, Muslim women were respected; and,
3. When his request was denied by the military and police, Mangadadatu asked for some journalists to accompany his wife and supporters thinking that no harm would come over them while the media is watching.
But no, no human life was respected during the mass killing in Maguindanao. Men, women, politicians, lawyers, journalists, supporters, innocent people -- these lives were taken away in one swift blow.
Now our nation is under the tight watch. I would want to see this issue have a closure.
Too bad the trend here is that controversies get overshadowed by other controversies until they are forgotten.
But this one, I hope not.