Ampatuan Massacre 2nd Anniversary L.A. Photo Exhibit
Los Angeles— “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”
Scores of Filipino Americans attended the photo exhibit and prayer memorial honoring the 58 Maguindanao Massacre victims on November 23, 2009 last Wednesday November 23, 2011 at the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Social Hall in Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles.
The event was organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-US Chapter, the Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles, Philippine American Press Club, Philippine Press Photographers-USA, Frontliners Media Group and F7, in cooperation with the Alliance Philippines (AJLPP), the Justice for Filipino American Veterans and People’s CORE.
The Photo Exhibit will be on display at FACLA for the next weeks for public viewing from November 25 to December 11, 2011. The exhibit hours are from 11;00 am to 6;00 pm from Monday to Friday.
Guest speaker Roy Mabasa, former National Press Club president, choked back tears as he talked about his memories of colleague and friend Bong Reblando, one of the 32 murdered journalists. Mabasa noted that when Reblando was killed he was wearing the same Hawaiian shirt that Mabasa had seen him wearing when Reblando visited him in Manila.
Another speaker, US journalist and author Loren Fleckenstein, said that when his articles angered politicians “my worst fear was losing my job…I never had to worry about losing my life.”
He also said : ‘I stand here humbled by the memory of these journalists who had the courage to risk their lives,” he said.
Myrna Aquintania, President of the Filipino American Press Club of LA opened the program. Rhony Laygo, also spoke about his departed media comrades. Nimfa Rueda and Art Garcia acted as emcees of the two-hour program.
The event, organized by Filipino-American media professionals, was held to mark the second anniversary of the massacre, to remember the victims and demand a speedy delivery of justice and an end to the killings of journalists. Included in the exhibit were the photographs taken by Inquirer photographer Rem Zamora.
‘No respect for life’
Jack Vergara, an 84-year-old World War II veteran and member of the JFAV was angry and disappointed at what he described as an assault on the media people.
“There’s no more respect for the law, and there’s no respect for human life. The government has to be awakened,” said Vergara.
The JFAV Choir sung patriotic hymn “Bayan Ko” while Rhony Lyago sung “Unang Alay” during the candle lighting ceremonies during the 58 minutes of silence for the victims of the massacre.
Photos by Benny Uy
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