CHR probes death of online news show host in Sorsogon
Screengrab from Google Maps shows Sorsogon City in Sorsogon province.
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CHR probes death of online news show host in Sorsogon
(Philstar.com) - September 16, 2020 - 5:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights said Wednesday it would investigate the killing of a journalist in Sorsogon.

In a statement, the CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said the killing of Jobert Bercasio “illustrates the growing trend of harassment and violence perpetrated against media workers in the country.”

Bercasio, a former radio reporter who hosted Balangibong TV on social media, was gunned down by two men when he was onboard his scooter Monday night.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philppines said Bercasio was the 17th journalist killed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the second this year after the May 5 killing of Cornelio Pepino in Dumaguete City.

Bercasio was described by his colleagues as a “hard-hitting commentator” who regularly tackled the issue of illegal logging in Sorsogon City.

De Guia said the CHR has sent a team to investigate the killing of the Bercasio and coordinate with local authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable.

She also called on the government to act on this case to achieve justice for the slain journalist and ensure that further steps will be taken to ensure the safety of journalists and media workers.

“The freedom of expression which includes the freedom of the press is a constitutionally protected right which guarantees the right of individuals to publish or utter freely without previous restraint,” De Guia said.

“The continuing harassment and killings of media professional is concerning as it hampers the publication of information depriving the Filiipino citizenry of access to much-needed information while creating a continuing culture of impunity,” she added.

In 2020, the Philippines placed 136th out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index of Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières, RSF). Last year, it ranked 134th.

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