The Philippine Center of International PEN, one of the oldest Filipino writers organizations which was founded in 1958, has launched “WRITERS AGAINST IMPUNITY,” a social media campaign on its website: philippinepen.ph. Internationally, PEN is recognized for its commitment to Free Expression and a Free Press. Philippine PEN also advocates for every Filipino’s Right to Information and actively endorses and supports the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill into law.
Philippine PEN invites all Filipino writers, poets, essayists, journalists, komikeros, and netizen bloggers of good will, to use the power of the written word to battle the persistent lawlessness and lack of accountability in our society. These evils are abetted by the public’s lack of the Right to Information, and by the curtailment of our Constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Expression through prior restraint, the persecution or imprisonment of writers-journalists and even their murder.
We shall soon commemorate the 4th anniversary of the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre, where 32 journalists were among the 58 murder victims. Although this may be the single most heinous instance of media killing world-wide, since 1992, at least 75 Filipino journalists have been murdered in the line of duty. The Philippines consistently ranks as among the top three "deadliest countries" for journalists.
Thirty years ago, Filipinos declared Hindi ka nag-iisa and Sobra na! Tama na! in the aftermath of the Ninoy Aquino assassination and stood in solidarity against over two decades of Marcos Misrule. Thirty years later, Filipinos realize that the dark forces of epidemic corruption, chronic impunity and lack of accountability still rule over us.
We call on all users of media, new and old, to speak out against the Culture of Impunity and advocate for the Right to Information and for Accountability and Restorative Justice. Please email your thoughts on these, through poetry, essays, personal accounts, cartoons, photos or other graphic artwork, for posting on the PEN Writers Against Impunity page to: end.impunity@
Let us raise our voices in solidarity to drive out the evils that corrupt and destroy our nation.