MANILA (27-March-2012) – A counsel representing the policeman accused of killing radioman Desiderio Camangyan filed a motion barring a media group from providing assistance to the case of the slain broadcaster.
As reported by SunStar Davao on Mar. 26, Atty Leo Catubang, counsel of accused PO1 Dennis Jess Lumikid, asked the court to disallow the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) from working with the public prosecutors handling the Camangyan murder case, arguing he is not an accredited broadcaster by the Kapinsanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas since he allegedly failed in the accreditation exam.
Caubang added Camangyan’s non-accreditation does not qualify him for any legal support from non-government groups advocating for journalists’ rights.
During the hearing held on Mar. 23, Davao Oriental Regional Trial Court Br. 16 Judge Emmanuel Carpio only ruled that a private prosecutor must file his/her appearance with the approval of the public prosecutor, a standard practice in the Rules of Court.
FFFJ legal counsel Prima Quinsayas was quoted as saying, “I read the motion (of Caubang) as an indirect statement of the accused that media killing cases are only those where the journalist killed is [an] accredited broadcaster.”
Earlier, the Camangyan murder case was previously raffled off to Br. 14 Judge George Omelio. The judge inhibited from handling the case after FFFJ filed a motion asking the court to voluntarily inhibit. It said “no feeling of trust and confidence in the impartiality of Omelio has been inspired by the way the case has so far moved.”
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