Some weeks ago, more than 50 journalists and relatives of a political clan were brutally murdered in Mindanao. This dastardly deed is now known as the Maguindanao Massacre.
The alledged masterminds are now in government custody but other perpetrators numbering more than a hundred are still being hunted down by the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Bureau of Investigation.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1959 declaring Martial Law in Maguindanao last Friday night. This move has made everyone apprehensive. The Senate and the House of Representatives convened yesterday as one body to tackle the issue.
Filipinos have a bad experience with Martial Law when President Ferdinand Marcos declared it in 1972. A lot of atrocities and human rights violations were committed during those years.
As the whole world celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today, I hope that the rights of the people in Maguindanao will not be violated and all the perpetrators be brought to justice.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stamp was issued by the Philippine postal authorities on December 9, 1988.