How to breed impunity

It has been a year since Iligan City Councilor Chonilo Ruiz barged into the announcer’s booth of radio station dxRJ and mauled Albert Loyola as he anchored the morning program “Radyo Patrol.”

It has been a year since this brazen display of abuse of power, which was broadcast live to the audience of dxRJ.

It has been a year since the supposed public servant, Ruiz, chose to reply with brute force to a valid issue of public interest raised against him.

It has been a year since Ruiz said he saw no reason to apologize forwhat he did.

A year since, and still Ruiz has not been called to account.

This is how to breed impunity, to let such abuses go unpunished.

This is why more than 140 journalists have been murdered since 1986 and yet only a handful of gunmen and none of the masterminds have been convicted.

This is why those who wish to silence the independent Philippine press are emboldened to continue harassing, threatening, attacking and killing journalists in this supposed democracy.

The Albert Loyola case is the perfect example of why we say government is and should be held accountable for all assaults on press freedom, and why more and more observers here and abroad are driven to consider the Philippines a weak, if not failed, democracy.

If a state cannot protect what it acknowledges is a vital pillar of democracy, it cannot be expected to protect its own people.




January 13, 2011

Nestor Burgos Jr.
Rowena Paraan

4/L FSS Bldg. # 89 Sct. Castor corner
Sct. Tuason Street (near T. Morato Ave),
Bgry. Laging Handa,
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (+632) 3767330
Web: (under construction)
Are you a journalist under threat?
Report it to NUJP’s Threat Hotlines:
*(+632) 3767330
* Email:
* Twitter:
“There can be no press freedom if journalists
exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear”


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