Culture of impunity — Dureza says on killing of media men PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 May 2014 14:17

Former Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Affairs Jesus Drureza said yesterday media men and the citizenry as a whole should do something more than just condemning the killing of journalists.

Reacting to the gunslaying of broadcast journalist Sammy Oliverio in Digos City, Davao del Sur, Dureza said the killing of mediamen “is not only about media killings. This is all about the widespread culture of impunity and the distrust on the country’s justice system.”

“Murderers and other law breakers feel safe and secure that they can always get away with it. Also, those who have grievances no longer believe in the long, tedious and unreliable system of getting redress through the normal way —   opting to take the law into their hands,” said Dureza in a press statement.

He continued: “We can always shout to high heavens to condemn.  but we need to do something  more than just denouncing and blaming. There is something seriously wrong that needs to be fixed by all of us.”

Oliverio, 57, a radio commentator of the University of Mindanao Broadcasting Network, known locally as “Radyo Ukay,” was shot dead on Friday morning. He is  the 28th to be killed since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010.

Oliverio accompanied his wife to the market and were on their way home on his motorcycle around 7 a.m. when they were ambushed by armed men on board a  black Honda Wave on Del Pilar Street.

Oliverio was shot at close range in the head with a cal. 45 pistol and was rushed to the Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital where he was already dead on arrival.

“This mocks our efforts to elevate press freedom in the country and protect our journalists who fearlessly pursue our good,” said Senator Grace Poe, noting that her committee investigation revealed that no mastermind of a media killing has been convicted.

Malacañang also reiterated that it was committed to solving cases involving the murder of journalists.

“We condemn the killing of radio broadcaster Sammy Oliverio in Digos City, Davao del Sur this morning,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a text message to reporters.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police) has been directed to exert maximum efforts to track the assailants and bring them before the bar of justice,” he added.

But the National Press Club said Oliverio’s killing was yet another disappointment and the group expressed “utter disgust” on the third murder of a radioman in Davao since 2006.

The first journalist to be killed was Armando Pace followed by Nestor Bedolido in 2010, where both killings remain unresolved by authorities.

“The killing of Oliverio dealt another humiliating slap on the face of the Aquino administration, during which the rate of media killings has outpaced the resolution of previous ones,” said NPC president Joel Sy Egco.

“It is statistically dreadful that at this rate— 7 journalist deaths a year from June 30, 2010 to present— the most number of media killings, besides the Maguindanao massacre, would be attributed to this government by the end of Aquino’s term,” he added.

“We owe this to the feeble and half-hearted efforts of the government, the Philippine National Police and the justice sector included, in having this problem solved,” Egco said.

Another media organization, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, also expressed disappointment at the government’s alleged failure to protect its own citizens.

“We can almost predict what comes next: police setting up another of those useless task forces that have so far failed to nail any of the masterminds in the 163 media murders before Oliverio’s, and the government vowing to bring his case to ‘justice’ just as it has failed to do with all the other cases,” ther NUJP said in a statement.

“It would not be farfetched, either, to expect that, somewhere down the road, some government flunky, or even President Benigno Aquino III himself, will be repeating the immortal words he uttered during US President Barack Obama’s visit, that the victim was killed ‘not because of professional activities, but, shall we say, other issues.’ As if anything justified murder,” it added.