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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 22, 2012
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Ampatuan massacre
anniversary tomorrow

The Negros Press Club and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Negros Occidental chapter will lead the commemorations on the third year of the Ampatuan Massacre and the International Day to End Impunity with students of schools in Bacolod City tomorrow.

The commemoration, that aims to dramatize the unity among members of the media and the campus press in calling for justice for the victims, will be held at the University of St. La Salle parking grounds starting 5 p.m. tomorrow, Julius Mariveles, NUJP-Negros Occidental interim chairman, said.

Mainstream journalists and officials of NUJP and NPC will carry torches and turn these over to representatives of campus publications to symbolize the never-ending campaign for press freedom and justice for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre, he said.

Journalists will also take turns reading the names of journalists who were killed and a bell will be tolled after each name is read.

An Ilonggo poem that will declare the commitment of Negros journalists for justice will also be read by NUJP and NPC officials and representatives from the campus press and will be accompanied by the playing of the USLS string quartet, Mariveles said.

A slide show of the photos taken by Mariveles during the first year commemoration in Ampatuan town will also be shown during the activity.

Culminating the commemoration will be the release of 58 Japanese lanterns, 32 of them red symbolizing the number of journalists killed.

The second leg of the activity, which will start at 7 p.m., will be the lighting of candles at the Marker for Fallen Journalists at the Bacolod City Public Plaza.

A march will take place from the Fountain of Justice to the marker located along San Juan Street, facing the Negros Press Club Building, during which a closing program will also be held.

The Ampatuan Massacre, considered as the deadliest single incident involving journalists, took place Nov. 23, 2009 in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao province.

The International Day To End Impunity was declared by the International Freedom Exchange, described as a “global network of organisations committed to defending and promoting the right to freedom of expression,” on the day the massacre took place to “…achieve justice for those persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression by drawing global attention to the issue of impunity.”*

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