By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, 13Dec2013 (PNA) – Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday condemned the series of media killings, saying the culture of impunity against journalists has worsened in the past few weeks.
Pimentel said he will call for immediate Senate inquiry into the unceasing attacks against journalists.
Tagum City radio commentator Rogelio Butalid was shot dead by a lone killer right after stepping out of a radio station in Tagum city last Wednesday.
Almost a week ago, another radio commentator Michael Milo in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur and Joas Dignos in Valencia City, Bukidnon, were also ambushed by unknown assailants.
Pimentel said the non-stop killings of the media personalities are obviously work-related, noting the victims are popular among their listeners because of their exposes against corruptions and other illegal activities in their areas.
He said another radio reporter, Jonavin Villalba in Iloilo city, survived an attack when he was fired upon by unidentified men while opening the gate of his house in Jaro district. Villalba was wounded in the right ankle and left foot.
Pimentel called on police authorities to step up their campaign against criminals even as he urged them to work extra hard to arrest the suspects and find out who are the real masterminds behind the series of killings in Mindanao.
Since 1992, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said that 72 journalists were killed, ranking the Philippines as the third worst in its impunity index of countries that failed to minimize violence against the media. (PNA)