CBCP condemns radioman’s slay
MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Wednesday condemned the murder of a Catholic radio reporter in Davao Oriental on Tuesday and urged government authorities to look into the incident, the third to occur against a member of the media in a span of 15 days.
Nestor Libaton, a reporter of the Catholic-run dxHM (Ang Radyo Totoo), an affiliate of the Catholic Media Network, was shot seven times by three men on board a motorbike as he was leaving Tarragona, Davao Oriental, on Tuesday.
Libaton and a colleague Eldon Cruz, had just attended a fiesta celebration and were on their way home to Mati City on board a motorcycle when the radio reporter was gunned down.
CBCP president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the Church hierarchy was saddened by the murder of Libaton, especially when it happened a few days prior the Church’s celebration of World Communications Sunday.
“We are saddened because we know how important communication is and the celebration of the World Communications Sunday is a way of reminding us that as Christians, it is our duty to proclaim and to communicate the teachings of Jesus,” Palma said over Church-run Radio Veritas Wednesday.
The senior prelate also called on Wednesday Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to give attention to Libaton’s case and give justice to the slain reporter.
According to the CBCPNews, the official news service of the Church hierarchy, Libaton did not have any commentary program since it was the station’s policy “not to discuss sensitive controversial issues on air.”
CBCPNews also said Libaton was the third member of media killed within the last 15 days. The others were identified as Rommel Palma, murdered in Koronadal City on April 24 and Michael Calanasan in Laguna on April 30.
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz Wednesday said he was already expecting the rise in the number of extrajudicial killings in the country, especially among members of the media since the Aquino administration was showing signs of “weakness” in implementing the law.
Cruz said over Radio Veritas that the culture of impunity and violence in the country will not end if the government would not act to curb it.
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