NUJP calls for justice on anniversary of Roxas’ murder

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines pays honor to the memory murdered Capiz broadcaster Martin Roxas on the first anniversary of his death August 7.

Roxas, an officer of our Capiz chapter, was the first member of the NUJP to suffer the ultimate form of censorship that has claimed the lives of more than 100 colleagues since the so-called restoration of democracy in 1986, 68 of them under this administration alone, the bloodiest toll of any presidency, including the 14-year Marcos dictatorship.

Roxas, who was only 32, was heading home for lunch after finishing his noontime program “Targetanay sa Udto” on Radio Mindanao Network’s dyVR in Roxas City when he was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding gunmen at around 1:30 p.m.

He was rushed to the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians from a lone gunshot in the back.

A witness saw the gunmen tailing Roxas on Bayot Drive before they shot him at close range and then fled towards Ivisan town.

Two suspects – Christian Tan and Jonel Lastimoso – were arrested soon after the shooting and are now detained at the Capiz provincial jail while being tried for murder.

While we appreciate the quick reaction of the police in this instance, unlike the pussyfooting and even gerrymandering that has happened in many cases, notably the murder of Roxas’ fellow RMN broadcaster Dennis Cuesta of General Santos, who was gunned down just a few days before the Capiz journalist, the NUJP cannot accept authorities’ declarations that the case is closed.

Our NUJP chapter chairman John Heredia has rightly said the murder of Roxas can in no way be considered solved since the accused are still being tried.

And, we would stress, these are only the alleged gunmen.

As in too many other cases, the real brains behind the murder of Martin Roxas has yet to be identified, arrested, tried and convicted.

The authorities may insist all they want that their standards for considering cases closed or solved differ from ours.

We have heard many variations on this – that the police’s task is merely to arrest the suspects and file complaints; that the prosecution’s job is merely to file cases, if appropriate, and prosecute these before the courts; that the judiciary has other responsibilities, including determining guilt.

But that is not our problem. That is the problem of the three pillars of the justice system being unable to get their acts together and, in the process, depriving so many of the justice they deserve.

We maintain that until Roxas’ true killers, not just the men who pulled the trigger but the brains who ordered his murder, are caught, tried and punished, there remains no justice in his case, as there continues to be no adequate justice in the handful of cases where there have been convictions of the gunmen but not of the masterminds.


Nestor p. Burgos, Jr




105-A Scout Castor Street (near Morato Avenue)
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (+632) 4117768

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“There can be no press freedom if journalists
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