AUSTRALIA CONDEMNS MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE
The following statement is attributable to the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Rod Smith.
Australia condemns the senseless and brutal killing of civilians and journalists in Maguindanao on 23 November. We welcome the Philippine Government’s commitment to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.
Politically-motivated killings and other forms of intimidation have no place in any society. Australia urges all political aspirants to participate in the political process in a lawful and peaceful way.
Media representatives must also be allowed to report without fear of violence.
Australia is a committed development cooperation partner of the Philippines. We are deeply concerned, however, that signs of increasing lawlessness in parts of Mindanao will inhibit our development cooperation activities and prevent the benefits of these programs reaching those who need them most.