|Campus journalists slam de facto martial law|
|Written by Northern Dispatch|
|Monday, 18 June 2007 14:08|
Baguio City ( Dec. 10) — The College Editors Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet Chapter condemned the spate of killings that include more than 45 journalists; the libel raps filed by the First Gentleman against 42 reporters, editors and publishers and the railroading of Charter Change on their 6th Provincial Congress held at Itogon, Benguet on Dec. 9 and 10.
"We're living under a de facto martial law," said Anjo Rey Cerdeña, newly-elected Chairperson of CEGP-BB. According to the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, there have been more than 790 cases of human rights violations since Arroyo took power in 2001. "Youth, students and members of the campus press are not spared by the violence perpetrated by the warmongers in the government and its military sidekicks."
He cited the cases of abducted and murdered student leaders such as Cris Hugo, of League of Filipino Students (LFS) in Bicol; Rei Mon Guran, spokesperson of LFS in St. Aquinas University; Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan of University of the Philippines-Diliman and Benjaline Hernandez, former CEGP Vice President for Mindanao. The systematic killings are believed to be the motive of Oplan Bantay Laya, a brainchild of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
According to Ramille San Juan, former Deputy Secretary General of CEGP-BB, these unprecedented attacks on civil liberties and human rights are a blatant manifestation of how insecure the Arroyo regime is.
"Its imprudent tagging of legal left-leaning organizations as communist fronts perverts the dissimilarity between armed revolutionary organizations and legal progressive people's organizations in its all-out war against ‘terrorism.' Such McCarthyst tactics reveal the desperate measures this regime resorts to in order to scare its critics into silence and submission," she said.
"But we, the youth, the students, the press, the people, will not be downtrodden. Unlike the regime, we are not cowards. We will remain vigilant, defiant, persistent. The blood that flowed from the people's martyrs will be our fuel to continue the fight against the fascist, puppet regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," she added.
The Provincial Congress is the highest policy-making body of the Baguio-Benguet Chapter and is convened every two years. The Congress features Basic Journalism Skills Training and timely Socio-Political Discussions aimed at attaining the highest standards of campus journalism. Nordis