November 23 Movement statement on the Martial Law declaration in Maguindanao

December 5, 2009

No to Martial Law

We absolutely oppose the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao and, prospectively, anywhere else in the country.

We believe that, with the severe restrictions on freedoms it imposes, on the one hand, and the wide latitude of police, military, and official powers it allows, on the other, martial law will only compound the troubles it has been precisely intended to deal with.

Indeed, we believe that normal powers exercised by a decisive, strong-willed, and well-intentioned leadership are enough to bring the perpetrators of the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, to justice.

History offers clear, powerful, and painful enough lessons in the deceptive promises of martial law: It has been used for repression, instead of justice.

The November 23 Movement

The November 23 Movement is a coalition of media organizations and groups are calling for accountability and swift justice to   the slain journalists and other victims of the Ampatuan Massacre.

Members:

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Business World
Center for Community Journalism and Development
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Davao Today
Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project
Philippine Press Institute
Pinoy Weekly
Southeast Asia Press Alliance
VERA Files