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Opinion

EDITORIAL - No justice in sight

The Philippine Star

Bereaved relatives were still in deep mourning for two journalists slain in separate attacks when a third radio broadcaster was shot dead last week, this time in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Rogelio Butalid was preparing to leave Radyo Natin Tagum when he was shot by a lone gunman.

In Jaro, Iloilo, Jhonavin Villalba had just arrived home from the Manila Broadcasting Co.’s Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo when two men on a motorcycle pulled up and shot him repeatedly. Villalba survived. Scores of other journalists have not been as lucky.

The attack on Butalid brought to 12 the number of journalists killed this year in this country. Press groups count 26 journalists murdered in the first 40 months of the Aquino administration, with no one convicted for the killings. In many cases, no arrests have been made. After each attack, authorities are reminded that the failure to bring murderers to justice breeds impunity, which guarantees more attacks.

A recent positive development is the plan of the judiciary to speed up hearings on the Maguindanao massacre case, which has crawled along since 2009. Members of the clan accused of planning and implementing the massacre clearly believed they could get away with the murder of 58 people, about half of them journalists, with the bodies hurriedly buried in a shallow hilltop mass grave.

While key members of the Ampatuan clan are now detained without bail for the massacre, many other individuals wielding power in their turfs still believe murder is the best way to silence critical comment. The best way to prove them wrong is by catching perpetrators and showing that you can’t get away with murder. The nation is still waiting for this to happen.

 

AKSYON RADYO-ILOILO

AMPATUAN

AQUINO

BUTALID

DAVAO

IN JARO

JHONAVIN VILLALBA

MANILA BROADCASTING CO

RADYO NATIN TAGUM

ROGELIO BUTALID

TAGUM CITY

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