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Wife of slain journalist still hopeful to get justice under Duterte

/ 01:45 PM June 01, 2016

Despite controversial statements issued by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte against journalists, the wife of a slain reporter said that she is hopeful that their family can bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice during the administration of the incoming president.

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In an interview by Radyo Inquirer’s Erwin Aguilon on Tuesday, Florabel Balcoba, wife of slain reporter Alex Balcoba, asked the President-elect to prioritize the case of her husband once he officially assumes office.

Solving her husband’s case will be a step forward in ending media killings in the country, she said.

“Sir, nagmamakaawa po ako sa inyo. Kung kinakailangan ko pong lumuhod, gagawin ko po. Huwag niyo lang pong pabayaan [‘yung kaso ng asawa ko]. Sana po sa pag-upo niyo po, ito po ang una niyong atupagin para matigil na po ang media killings, kahit hindi man ‘yung krimen sa ating bansa.” Florabel said.

(Sir, I am appealing to you. If I have to kneel, I will, just do not let this case drag on. I hope that once you assume office, you will prioritize this case so that the media killings, if not all the crimes in the country, will stop.)

She is pinning her hopes on Duterte as the only person who can jail those behind her husband’s murder.

“Alam niyo po, umaasa po talaga ako sa inyo. Sa inyo lang po ako humuhugot ng lakas para po pag-uwi ko, dala-dala ko na po ‘yung hustisya. Sana ibalik na rin po ‘yung death penalty para po sa dalawang nasa likod ng karumal-dumal na nangyari sa asawa ko,” she added.

(You know, I really hope you could help me. I am drawing my strength from you, so that one day, I can finally get justice. I also hope the death penalty will be reimposed so that the killers of my husband will be punished with it.)

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Balcoba, a crime beat reporter, was gunned down late Friday in front of their family-owned watch repair shop in Quiapo, Manila.

READ: Journalist shot dead in Quiapo, Manila

Two gunmen fled on a motorcycle after shooting the 56-year-old journalist.

Balcoba’s remains are set to be cremated in Caloocan City on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, Duterte drew flak from press groups after he made a sweeping statement saying that slain journalists are being murdered because they are corrupt.

READ: Duterte: Media corruption root cause of journalists’ killings

“Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong.”

“Freedom of expression won’t save you. The Constitution cannot help you kapag binaboy mo ang isang tao (if you have maligned a person),” the tough-talking mayor said.

Various press groups, including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the National Press Club, slammed Duterte for his remarks.

READ: NUJP to Duterte: Nothing justifies journalist killings

In its report which was published last January, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that the Philippines is the second most dangerous country for journalists–placing it just after Iraq. With a report from Erwin Aguilon/ Radyo Inquirer/IDL

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TAGS: Alex Balcoba, Florabel Balcoba, Journalist, Media killings, Rodrigo Duterte
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