Bangsamoro Government recognizes press freedom as foundation of democracy- Spokesman Sinarimbo

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao- Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre, BARMM Spokesperson Atty. Najib Sinarimbo assured the protection of journalists even if they are at times critical of the officials of the new region. 

In a Mindanews report on Saturday, Sinarimbo said the Bangsamoro government recognizes press freedom as foundation of democracy and this should be honored and respected at all times.

 On November 23, 2009, fifty-eight persons mostly journalists where flagged down in Ampatuan, Maguindanao national highway by about 100 armed men led by Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatun, Jr. while their convoy of vehicles where bound for the provincial Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao to file the certificate of candidacy of Vice Governor Esmail “Toto” Mangudadatu for Maguindanao Governor, and herded towards Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town where they were mercilessly killed.

Ampatuan Jr. through the mediation of Atty. Jesus Dureza was arrested and airlifted to Manila where he was detained along with his father, Andal Amaptuan Sr., and his brothers Sahid Islam, Zaldy, then Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and brother-in-law Datu Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan.

Days later, many suspects were also arrested including members of the local Philippine National Police (PNP) who were also brought to Metro Manila were they are detained until now. 

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) will join families of 32 media workers during the mass to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Sitio Masalay, the Mindanews report said.