Daniel Razon to Lead Benefit Concert for Killed Journalists in Maguindanao

The butchering of 57 people, 30 of whom are journalists, in Maguindanao has sent shockwaves of anger and frustration all over the world not only against the alleged perpetrators of the hideous massacre – the notorious Ampatuan clan – but also to the government who did little to suppress the prevalence of media killings.

For his part, veteran broadcaster and host of a Philippines morning show “Good Morning Kuya,” Daniel Razon, spearheads a cry of condemnation on the Maguindanao Massacre using a different forum: through music.

A concert, Protest Broadcast, slated on May 17, 2010, 7 p.m., at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, is one of the things Mr. Razon had in mind while thinking of novel ways to condemn the massacre.

“[T]hose are things para…makagising ng awareness ng tao na may nangyayaring ganito na dapat alam ninyo; na dapat hindi natin i-tolerate ang ganito. (Those are things to awaken people’s awareness that there are certain events that are happening and should not be tolerated), said Mr. Razon in an interview with reporters.

Protest Broadcast, a concert led by Mr. Razon himself, aims to voice out protest against the dangerous condition the Philippine media is currently facing amid scores of killings of journalists, which was highlighted by the Nov 23 pre-election massacre.

Together with Bread Society International and UNTV, Mr. Razon chose to stage Protest Broadcast since, aside from delivering his message through songs, he can use its proceeds as financial assistance to the families of the slain media men, four of whom are from Philippine television channel, UNTV.

“It’s one way…to at least help (the victims). (There’s) no use crying over spilt milk. So we need to do something about those who are still living,” Mr. Razon said. During the previous Test Broadcast concert, organizers led by Bread Society International dole out scholarship grants and cash donations, enough to start a small retail business, for the bereaved families.

On a May 3 report, media watchdog Reporters Without Boundaries (RSF) included the Philippine private militias in its list of the world’s 40 worst “predators of the press” to mark World’s Press Freedom Day. These “predators” were picked by RSF, due to their power to “censor imprison, kidnap, torture and, in the worse cases, murder journalists.”

The Paris-based RSF added the private militias in the Philippines following the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of 57 people, including 30 journalists, by “the local governor’s thugs” in Maguindanao province. The list also includes the Taliban leader and other heads of state such as China’s Hu Jintao, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Cuba’s Raoul Castro.

This latest citing of the massacre is just one of the numerous statements from international groups condemning the cold blooded killings that involved 30 mediamen.

Funeral of killed UNTV medieman in Maguindanao Massacre

Aside from Mr.Razon, singers Gary Granada, Joey Ayala, Lloyd Umali, Cookie Chua, Noel Cabangon, Lolita Carbon of Asin, and other surprise guests are set to perform in the event.  Two more dates are set – May 23 at the Cebu Grand Convention Center, and on May 30 at CAP Auditorium, Davao City.

Apart from Bread Society International, Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), and UNTV 37, the concert is also supported by advocacy group, Kahit Isang Araw Lang.

Written by Anthony Chua