UP professors, students slam Duterte statement on media killings
Journalism professors and students of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Thursday denounced President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on media killings as “unwarranted, unjust and irresponsible.”
They called on Duterte to set an example in upholding press freedom and retract his statement that many journalists are killed because they are corrupt or unethical.
“His statement is a condonation of the cold-blooded murders of journalists and media practitioners. Worse, it signals impunity instead of justice for these criminal acts,” the statement said.
Duterte’s words were plain enough to be understood, as opposed to his spokespersons’ defense that he was misinterpreted, the journalism department of the UP College of Mass Communication said in the statement.
“Contrary to his misinformed and malicious statements, majority of the slain journalists were killed in their attempt to expose corruption and crime in their communities. Thus, Duterte’s statement is unwarranted, unjust and irresponsible, coming from the soon head of state,” the UP statement said.
The statement was signed by journalism faculty members Evelyn Katigbak (chair), Danilo Arao, Yvonne Chua, Rachel Khan, Ma. Diosa Labiste, Marichu Lambino, Cristina Rara, Jimmy Domingo, Ivy Mendoza and Tress Reyes.
It was also signed by UP journalism students, journalism representatives Raphael Rayco and Mikko Al Rashid Ringia, Union of Journalists of the Philippines chair Danielle Isaac, UP Journalism Club president Paul John Domalaon, and Tinig ng Plaridel editor in chief Krysten Mariann Boado.
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