Reporters without Borders is reporting this morning that twelve journalists were among those killed in a horrible election-related attack in the Philippines, in the Maguindanao province of the southern island of Mindanao. The New York Times has a broader report about the attack and context of other recent violence in the province. Our thoughts go out to the families of all of those killed and injured.
“Never in the history of journalism have the news media suffered such a heavy loss of life in one day,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We convey our condolences and sympathy to all journalists in the Philippines, who are in state of shock after this appalling massacre.”
The press freedom organisation added: “We have often condemned the culture of impunity and violence in the Philippines, especially Mindanao. This time, the frenzied violence of thugs working for corrupt politicians has resulted in an incomprehensible bloodbath. We call for a strong reaction from the local and national authorities.”
Unfortunately this attack is the latest in a province with a history of election-related violence, related to an institutionalized “gun culture” in the country. The Philippines’ President’s adviser on the island is reported as saying, “Everyone should be disarmed. Anything less will not work.”