Never Again: Commemorating the Fourth Year Anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre

It was year 2009, the 23rd of November to be exact. I remember fairly well because it was a day before my birthday, and of course, because of the dreadful events that transpired. 58 people, including lawyers, journalists and pregnant women, were brutally murdered and buried in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Philippines.

Esmael Mangudadatu, along with his wife and two sisters, media men and people were on their way to the provincial office of Shariff Aguak to submit his Certificate of Candidacy for the 2010 elections, going up against the then mayor, Andal Ampatuan Jr., when they were stopped by over a 100 armed men who abducted and killed almost all of the convoy.

The details the news were giving were extremely horrifying. There were evidence showing that the abducted women were first raped before being shot in the genitals and killed. The men were also beheaded.

I was only in my first year of high school then. I was only fourteen.

Last Friday night, me and a couple of friends joined the Bible Readers Society or BREAD Choir as they performed in UP College of Mass Communication for an event entitled: Pangalay, Isang Gabi ng Pagtatanghal at Pag-alala.

ImageThe official poster of the said event.
Photo Courtesy: UP CMC Student Council Official FB Page

Hosted by the Graduate Students’ Association of UP CMC, it was a night filled with solidarity speeches and cultural performances aimed to raise awareness about the Maguindanao Massacre, and as to how justice is still not being served, and how we must always commemorate that day when lives did not simply got took away, but were brutally taken.

It’s been four years, and some people have already forgotten. But for the families and friends of the victims in those killings, four years will only seem like a week. The hurt and pain will come back every November, like a fresh, bleeding wound.

UNTV-37, known in the Philippines as the country’s Public Service Channel, is a part of those grieving families, having lost four media men in the event.

Three years ago, last May 17, 2010, UNTV, through its chairman and CEO, Daniel Razon, spearheaded a fund-raising for the families of the victims of the massacre. Some of the country’s greatest musical artists graced the event to pay tribute and lend a hand to the bereaved families.

ImageDaniel Razon, Chairman and CEO of UNTV, spearheads the Protest Broadcast 3: Cry for Justice held at the Big Dome last 2010, to help raise funds for the families of the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr account of Eldon Tenorio

Aside from tribute concerts, UNTV also consistently commemorates the days that have gone by since the bloodshed, usually every after its news reports segment at night.

In accordance to what Kuya Daniel Razon always says, “Walang gawang mabuti na magbubunga ng masama” (Nothing evil will come out of doing good), UNTV will remain steadfast in their campaign to serve the public and do good to others, despite the tragedy that transpired amongst its co-workers and friends. UNTV journalists and media men are trained to prioritize and value rescue first before their news reports, promoting that lives are far much more important.

ImageViewers of UNTV’s popular morning show, Good Morning Kuya, request that supporters wear white on
November 21 and black on November 22 in commemoration of the Maguindanao Massacre.
Photo Courtesy: Good Morning Kuya’s Official FB Page

This coming November 21, 22 and 23, let us all be one in commemorating the Maguindanao Massacre, and together, let us all say never again to impunity.

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Kuya Daniel Razon, Always Doing More In 30 Years of Public Service

As November 28 comes along the corner, Kuya Daniel Razon celebrates his 30th year in service to God and humanity by Doing More.

Daniel Razon or Mr. Public Service, more fondly called as “Kuya” (Big Brother), is the man behind revolutionary public service innovations like the Tulong Muna, Bago Balita (Rescue First, News Later) advocacy, wherein media personnel are trained to prioritize lives more than their news reports.

His principle of “Service First” as a media personnel earned him his nomination and current leading votes as an Ultimate Luminary in Rappler’s Do More Awards.

ImageKuya Daniel leads the voting as Ultimate Luminary in Rappler’s Do More Awards 2013.
Photo Courtesy: Rappler.com

In Rappler’s interview for the Do More Awards, Kuya Daniel is quoted, saying “Doing more is like grabbing every opportunity that you have and not letting it pass. Every opportunity that you have to do good, you grab it.”

In his upcoming 30th year of public service, he has indeed grabbed every opportunity to touch the lives of our countrymen and to become a well of inspiration to those who hear his words and see his actions. Truly, he has done more and is doing more with his innovations to public service through his company, UNTV – Your Public Service Channel and the charity arm of Members Church of God International.

The free Clinic ni Kuya sites across the country as well as the maintenance of free college education through La Verdad Christian College are just some of his works to name a few.

Leading by example, Kuya Daniel Razon encourages everyone to DO MORE as well, as we are all “capable of doing something good to other people”.

Kuya Daniel Razon
Photo Courtesy: Marvin Pongos of Photoville International

So to our Dearest Kuya, cheers for 30 years in service to God and humanity!