NUJP calls on gov’t to address culture of impunity for crimes vs journalists
MANILA, Philippines – The government should bolster its efforts to solve crimes against journalists, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Thursday.
NUJP’s statement came in light of the maintained ranking of the Philippines as the seventh worst country in prosecuting journalists’ murderers, with 14 unsolved killings from September 1, 2012, to August 31, 2022, according to the annual report of global media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
“Despite potential differences with how government agencies like the Philippine National Police classify cases, the lack of convictions adds to making journalism a dangerous profession in the Philippines,” it said.
READ: PH still among world’s worst countries in prosecuting killers of journalists
The group also pointed out that the CPJ Global Impunity Index, published on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, became more timely as the government continues its probe on the brazen assassination of radioman-vlogger Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as Percy Lapid.
READ: ‘I’m not that optimistic’: Percy Lapid’s brother fears justice will be elusive
“While we welcome initiatives by the government to engage with journalists and to look into their safety and security, NUJP holds that the resolution of cases of attacks against our colleagues, as well as the assurance that threats against us will be taken seriously are among the best ways to ensure that we can report without fear of reprisal,” NUJP noted.
It then expressed hopes that the CPJ report “are not dismissed as propaganda and will instead prompt the government to redouble efforts to solve the cases.”
NUJP further said it trusts that the community of independent journalists will continue tracking the developments in the case of Lapid and Renato Blanco – another radio broadcaster who was stabbed to death in Negros Oriental last September – but also demand justice in other pending cases of journalist killings in the country, including that of Dr. Gerry Ortega and the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre victims, which were not included in the murders examined by the CPJ.
The latest CPJ index showed that in nearly 80 percent of the 263 journalist killings across the globe over the past ten years, perpetrators were not held accountable for their crime.
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