MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemned Friday the murder of another journalist – the fifth this year – under the Aquino administration.
In a statement, NUJP condemned the killing of broadcaster Julius Cauzo, 51, of Cabanatuan City radio station dzJJ.
Cauzo was shot dead by a lone gunman Thursday as he was on his way to host his program. He was the fifth member of media killed this year alone, the 14th under the Aquino administration and the 154th since 1986.
Police said Cauzo had regularly criticized graft and corruption on his program.
In its statement, the NUJP said that whatever the reason for Cauzo’s murder “it is clear proof that the impunity with which media killings and other human rights violations are brazenly committed has continued to thrive because government – this administration in particular – has not, cannot, or will not act to end the bloodshed.”
“So much for promises of good governance and justice, and respect for the people’s basic civil and political rights,” it added.
The group criticized the Aquino administration for failing to push for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act while backing restrictive legislation such as the Cybercrime Prevention Act and the Data Privacy Act.
Malacañang earlier condemned Cauzo's murder in Cabanatuan Thursday morning.
"Kinokondena po natin ang nangyaring karahasan dito sa radio personality na 'to. Ang police po ngayon may isang gunman [na] na-identify po sila. Hinahanap po nila ang gunman na 'yun,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters on Thursday.
He added: “They're looking at the motives of this particular killing, whether it's personal or work-related."
Asked if the Palace is in favor of forming special courts to handle media killings, Lacierda said this would be up to the Supreme Court and Congress to decide.