NUJP to Duterte: Who really killed Jun Pala?
Set the record straight. This was the call of the National Union of the Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier hinted that he knew who killed Davao City broadcaster Juan “Jun” Pala.
The statement was released hours after an alleged member of the Davao Death Squad testified before the Senate and claimed that Duterte had Pala killed in 2003.
The witness, Edgar Matobato, said Duterte wanted Pala killed because the broadcaster would regularly criticize him over the radio.
“The last time he spoke about the murder of Pala, then president-elect Duterte said the controversial broadcaster had his death coming by hurting so many people through his bombastic radio commentaries,” NUJP said.
“At that time, Mr. Duterte hinted that he knew who could be the likely perpetrator of the attack on Pala whom he described as an unethical and corrupt broadcast practitioner,” it added.
Last June, Duterte told reporters that he met the suspect in the killing and that he saw the man cry because Pala smeared his reputation.
Duterte called Pala a criminal and an extortionist.
The NUJP said closure of the Pala murder case “will send a strong signal of the seriousness of the Duterte government to address this black mark in the Philippines’ image as a democratic society.”
It said the unsolved case is only “adding to the piling statistics of unsolved murders of journalists which, in total, contributes to nurturing a culture of impunity in the country.”
“We ask President Duterte to set the record straight about what he knew of the Pala murder, for the sake of justice,” NUJP said.
The United Nations recently criticized Duterte for expressing “statements of scorn for international human rights law.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said this act displays “a striking lack of understanding of our human rights institutions and the principles which keep societies safe.”
Human rights groups have scored Duterte for the increasing number of deaths connected to the government’s war on illegal drugs. Thousands of suspected drug users and pushers have already been killed by the police and vigilante groups. RAM
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