Three journalists murdered in 11 days in the Philippines
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/7/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Those who speak the truth - or voice their opinion - always risk their loss of life. Radio broadcaster Rogelio Estrada Butalid was shot and killed at close range in Tagum City last week. He was the third such journalist killed in the Philippines over the past 11 days.
Rogelio Estrada Butalid was killed in front of his workplace in Tagum City in Davao del Norte province on Wednesday morning. The studio, Radyo Natin, was where he hosted "The Truth" show.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Butalid was killed in front of his workplace in Tagum City in Davao del Norte province on Wednesday morning. The studio, Radyo Natin, was where he hosted "The Truth" show.
Butalid discussed a dispute between two electric cooperatives who were sponsoring the show prior to his assassination, radio station Manager Elmer Tandoc said.
"We are looking at the possibility that he was killed because of his profession," police spokesman Chief Inspector Jed Clamor told reporters.
Assassins claimed the lives of two other broadcasters in Mindanao - Joas Dignos, who was shot dead on November 29 in Bukidnon province, and Michael Milo, who was killed on Friday in Surigao del sur.
Another radio journalist, Jonavin Villalba, was shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in Iloilo province in the Western Visayas, north of Mindanao. He's in stable condition.
"When will this ever stop?" Benny Antiporda, president of the National Press Club said. "How can we say there is press freedom in this country when we are being massacred?"
Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma said in a press briefing last November said that "it's justified to say there is no more impunity" when it comes to killings targeting the media.
"There is too much killing and very little action on the part of authorities. Nothing changes," Rowena Paraan, head of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines said.
According to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Butalid was the 21st media personnel killed in the Philippines during President Benigno Aquino's three and a half years in office.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks the Philippines the third worst in its "impunity index" of countries that fail to tackle violence against the press. At least 72 Filipino journalists have been murdered since 1992, not counting the cases of Dignos, Milo -- and now Butalid.
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