Gov’t forges solutions, alliances for media workers safety | Inquirer News

Gov’t forges solutions, alliances for media workers safety

Broadcaster slain on-air; Marcos, DOJ vow justice

DJ JOHNNY WALKER; A CCTV footage of the killing of Juan “DJ Johnny Walker” in Calamba, Misamis Occidental has made the rounds of social media.

CEBU CITY — Barely three weeks since the killing of a radioman in Misamis Occidental while on air, a presidential task force has been conducting dialogues nationwide to explore ways to protect media practitioners.

At least 20 journalists mainly from Cebu attended the Visayas leg of the 2023 Nationwide Media Summit last Nov. 21 organized by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) in partnership with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).


“We are here to not only condemn these acts of violence but to actively forge solutions, strategies, and alliances that will safeguard our journalists and uphold the freedom of the press,” said Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla in a message read by PTFoMS Executive Director Paul Gutierrez and published by the government-run Philippine News Agency.


According to Remulla, the shooting of Misamis Occidental radio broadcaster Juan Juamalon inside his home-studio on Nov. 5 was a reminder of the dangers faced by media workers.

“(It is) imperative to fortify the mechanisms that protect them (mediamen),” he said.

“This reprehensible act is not only an assault on an individual but an attack on the very principles of freedom of speech and the right to information that we, as a society, hold dear,” Remulla added.

The summit carried the theme “Promoting a Free Responsible Press Towards a Safer Media Community.”

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil, whose message was also read by Gutierrez, said the media summit aimed to foster meaningful dialogues, explore ways to fortify protection for media practitioners, promote responsible journalism, and cultivate a culture of respect for press freedom.

“As we embark on this journey to recalibrate the PTFOMS and empower our media professionals, let us remember that our efforts today will shape the future of our nation’s media landscape,” she said.


“I am confident that through constructive discussions, shared knowledge, and collaborative efforts, we can work together to build a safer and more responsible media community for all Filipinos,” she added.

Garafil stressed the “role of a free and responsible press,” citing that active and independent media is the bedrock of any democracy, acting as a vigilant guardian and providing a platform for diverse voices and opinions.

“It is through the diligent and courageous work of journalists that we stay informed, enlightened, and engaged in the affairs of our nation,” she said.

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said public attorneys could be active legal advocates for media practitioners who would be facing cases.

In Eastern Visayas, Brigadier General Reynaldo Pawid, regional police director, promised to make the region a “free haven” for media practitioners.

Pawid on Monday, met with journalists from the different provinces in the region and acknowledged the role of the media in informing and educating the public.

“(And) in return, I will make a personal vow to accord you with the necessary measures to guarantee your safety as you perform your functions,” he said in his speech.

“I will pursue to make Eastern Visayas a safe haven for our media practitioners,” Pawid added.

He also assured the people in the region that the police would continue its motto to “serve and protect” them.

“As enforcers of the law, we ought to ensure public safety and security. We cultivate honest and fair public service matched with the objective to uphold good governance and professionalism,” the police official said.

Eastern Visayas has recorded cases of violence involving media practitioners.

Among them were the slay of radio anchor Ramon “Monching” Noblejas in 1987; radio reporter Leo Mila in 2008; and Jesus “Jess” Malabanan in 2021.


CHR urges better protection for media workers after latest attack

Palace vows to work for protection of press freedom …

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Lawmaker seeks protection for media workers

TAGS: Cebu, Media, Safety

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.