When Will the Killings Stop?

June 19, 2006

The Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD) strongly condemns the killing yesterday inKidapawanCity,North Cotabatoof NGO workers and part-time journalists George and Macel Vigo.

 Their brutal, cold-blooded and senseless killing puts to question the capacity of this government to protect its citizens and only serves to highlight the existence of a culture of impunity that it so assiduously denies.

 The slaying of George and his wife Macel in broad daylight makes a mockery of justice and erodes the foundations of democratic institutions.  Their killing couldn’t have happened at a more ironic confluence of events: the celebration of national hero Jose Rizal’s birth anniversary and a chilling statement from Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales that the loss of civilian lives as “collateral damage” may be unavoidable in an all-out war with insurgents.

 At the time of his death, George was working with the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), a non-profit assisting thousands of Filipinos displaced by armed conflict inMindanaorebuild their lives. He wrote for UCANews, the Catholic news service.  Macel was executive director of the People’s Kauyahan Foundation Inc. (PKFI) implementing the Integrated Rehabilitation Project for B’laan evacuees.  She used to host a radio program on children and women’s issues. Both were active in the peace movement in Cotabato and worked tirelessly to establish a peace radio network.

 The CCJD joins other voices in loudly and vehemently condemning the inhuman attacks on journalists, NGO workers, activists and people who simply want to shape a better tomorrow for their country.

 Even as the CCJD demands justice for George and Macel it joins other voices plaintively asking: when will the killings stop?



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