MANILA - The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Friday lit candles to protest "in disgust and condemnation" the media killings in the country.
Kath Cortez, secretary-general of NUJP-Davao, said journalists in the Philippines also experience violations of their rights as media practitioners, much like the human rights violations.
Cortez rallied for the acknowledgment of media practitioners' right to broadcast and release stories vital for the public to know.
"Dapat kilalanin na ang mga mamamahayag ay may karapatan at ang pamamahayag in general ay karapatan ng sinuman na gustong mag-access ng totoong impormasyon sa nangyayari sa kasalukuyan," she said.
Attorney Jo Clemente, acting chair of the NUJP, echoed Cortez's statements, saying that freedom of the press and the right of the people to know should always go hand in hand.
"Kung isu-suppress mo 'yung isa, tapos pinapahina nu'n ang ating mga democratic institutions, saan tayo patungo?" she asked.
She also emphasized the importance of freedom of the press by saying that no one should die by merely reporting the truth.
Besides this, they also encouraged Filipinos to be vigilant and better examine the role that media play in the society.
"Kasi sila 'yung checks and balances para makita ang isang mas malinaw at matagumpay na gobyerno, kung magiging tahimik tayo lahat, baka po ang susunod na makita nating nakahandusay sa lapag tayo na," Clemente added.
The NUJP held the protest in condemnation of what its members said was the killing of the 11th journalist in the country from Davao Del Norte, two years since President Duterte took office.