Duterte urged: Tell the truth about murdered journalist Jun Pala


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to enlighten the public about the true circumstances surrounding the murder of Davao City broadcaster Juan “Jun” Pala who was ambushed in 2003.

Although it happened more than a decade ago, the case has not yet been solved.

NUJP secretary general Dabet Panelo said the case adds to the “piling statistics of unsolved murders of journalists.”

“In total, (the case) contributes to nurturing a culture of impunity in the country,” she said.

The unresolved murder of Pala was resurrected Thursday with the testimony in the Senate of a witness who claims to be a former member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, Edgar Matobato.   

According to Matobato, former Davao City Mayor now President Duterte ordered to kill Pala who was critical of the official.

This gives a new twist to what the people know about the incident.

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, Panelo said.

At that time, the NUJP official said (Duterte) hinted that he knew who could be the perpetrator of the attack on Pala whom he described as an unethical and corrupt broadcast practitioner.

Panelo said that a closure of the Pala murder case or any other case of journalist killing 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.   

“We ask President Duterte to set the record straight about what he knew of the Pala murder, for the sake of justice,” she said.

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