Gov’t apathy emboldens journalists’ killers

The NUJP is outraged at the murder of Quezon news correspondent and radio host Bert Sison and the wounding of his daughter, Almira, also a journalist, in Sariaya, Quezon Monday evening.

Sison was the third journalist to be murdered this year and the 58th since this administration came to power in 2001.

Authorities say Sison was driving home with Almira and another daughter, also a news correspondent, when two men on a motorcycle overtook his car and the back-rider opened fire with a handgun, killing Sison on the spot and wounding Almira in the arm.

This latest killing and, like most of the most recent murders have increasingly been, the brazenness of its execution, merely proves that the culture of impunity nurtured by government’s continued inaction towards the murders of journalists and its own unabashed attempts to curtail press freedom remains alive and well in this so-called democracy.

Again, while we do not see the murders of and attacks on our colleagues as part of any official policy, we maintain that the official apathy that allows so many of these incidents to remain unsolved, and the repeated attempts to muzzle a press that refuses to surrender its liberties, is tantamount to a stamp of approval.

We challenge the administration to prove us wrong and back up its empty boasts of respect for our rights and freedoms by not only solving these murders and bringing the perpetrators – including the masterminds – to justice but also taking steps to ensure that the killings end and ending, as well, its attempts to cow the free Philippine media.
Jose Torres Jr., Chairperson
Rowena Paraan, Secretary-General


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