TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 3 — The National Union of Journalists of the
Philippines, Leyte-Samar Chapter, called on all citizens and concerned
government authorities not to take lightly the escalation in the
murder of journalists in the country as it condemned the brutal
slaying of the seventh victim this year, Leo Luna Mila, 35, of Radyo
Natin in San Roque town, Northern Samar Tuesday night.
Carolina L. Montilla, NUJP chapter chairperson here, said the growing
number of slain journalists is proof that the culture impunity that
has emboldened those who seek to silence the truth has worsened.
She noted that Mila had received threats for exposing corruption in
his town before he was shot dead as he emerged from the station past 6
p.m. on his way home.
“He was riddled with bullets from head to foot,” said Montilla,
quoting from an interview with Samar PNP provincial director Eusebio
Montilla, who edits a local newspaper whose own staff has received
countless threats and been the target of intimidation said the
continued attacks on journalists should no longer be tolerated else
these deteriorate into a blatant disregard of the people’s right to
freedom of speech and information.
“I call on the media to unite and not to be cowed, but certainly, to
practice caution as we champion fair and balanced journalism.” she
said. “Remember, martial law or dictatorship may sadly be resorted to
as desperate men resort to desperate acts to gag the press and squash
the truth from being exposed.”
Montilla is editor-in-chief of the weekly tabloid Eastern Times;
writes for KMC, an OFW international magazine; and hosts a show on
Leyte Net Cable’s AAC24.
The local NUJP has joined forces with various media groups and the
Public Information Agency (PIA) of Northern Samar to unearth the truth
behind Mila’s murder. #
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