MANILA, Philippines – A media group called on the Aquino government to stop violence against journalists, following the recent killing of journalist Niel Aranga Jimena in Bacolod last Monday.
In a press statement, the Burgos Media Center noted that Jimena’s death was the 9th case of media killing under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
“President Aquino must do something in the soonest possible time to serve justice to the victims of media killing within his term and even those that were still unsettled including the case of the Maguindanao Massacre. We want to see sincerity from PNoy and not just mere lip service,” said spokesperson Marc Joseph Alejo.
The group urged the Aquino administration to take up “decisive and speedy actions” to resolve attacks against journalists.
Aside from Jimena, the 8 other journalists who have been killed under the Aquino administration were identified by the group as Jose Daguio, Miguel Belen, Edilberto Cruz, Edison Flameniana Sr., Dr. Gerry Ortega, Cirilio Gallardo, Marlina Sumera and Romeo Olea.
“We want to see culprits and masterminds of these killings be put behind bars and for heads to roll in order for the Aquino government to end the culture of impunity in the country. PNoy must be alarmed over these attacks against media and press freedom, which eventually placed the Philippines one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists,” said Alejo.
Alejo advised the President to have strong political will to end media killings.
“Media killings must stop now. In order to realize this, PNoy must have strong political will and must have clear measures on how will his government can safeguard members of the fourth estate. And the time to do this is now,” said Alejo.
The 42-year-old Jimena was shot dead by 2 suspects aboard a motorcycle in Barangay 3 in E.B. Magalona town. Police said Jimena had been a radio blocktimer for a year and was also a former agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.