By Joey Natividad
NAGA CITY (BicolToday.com/26-June-2012) – Practitioners in the broadcast media here urged for the national government to grant more protection for working broadcasters and journalists on the wake of reports that the two cameramen Filipinos Rolando Letrero and Remilto Vela are in danger of having been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
The two cameramen are with Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani of Dubai-based Al Arabiya. The three were reported to have slipped into Abu Sayyaf territory to interview rebel commanders and make TV documentaries of the Abu Sayyaf.
Ernie Verdadero, member of the advisory council of the Kapisanan ng Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP) in Camarines Sur, said they will draft a resolution at the coming KBP national convention in Davao City on June 28- 30. The KBP resolution will manifest the broadcasters desire urging the government to work hard in protecting media practitioners from harm, violence and killings.
“We are worried about cameramen Vela and Letrero who are Bicolanos from Del Gallego and Tinambac, Camarines Sur,” said Verdadero. He stressed that most media men killed came from the ranks of the broadcast sector. Verdadero is also program host of GNN cable news, Ini An Tutoo.
The KBP here reacted to Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo who downplayed the 3 journalists held in Abu Sayyaf territory by declaring “that the government will just wait for those 3 journalists to show up” amid reports that the Jordanian Embassy had already reported earlier that they were kidnapped, although no specific ransom money was demanded.
Russell Rosero, radio journalist of DWRN-Naga, said the resolution to be drafted by the KBP national convention in Davao City will boost up the morale of those working in the broadcast media. “We want to show the people that working in the media industry is a very high- risk occupation that needs government protection,” he said.
On his part, Rosero exercises extra-caution while traveling for his reportorial activities. He avoids hanging around in some watering-holes in late nights.
In the Bicol Region, 8 journalists were murdered since 1986. The recent media killing was Romy Olea of DWEB FM on June 13, 2011; Mike Belen of DWEB FM; Ricardo Ding Uy of Sorsogon; Nelson Nadura and Tony Castillo of Masbate; John Villanueva, Joy Militante and Ruel Endrinal of Albay. [BicolToday.com]
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