Following Percy Lapid's slay, police acknowledge broadcasters' role in democratic process

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2022 02:22 PM

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MANILA — Following the killing of radio commentator and government critic Percival Mabasa, widely known as Percy Lapid, the police said Wednesday it recognizers broadcasters as partners in the democratic process.

"We acknowledge na katuwang natin ang broadcaster[s] para sa ating democratic process because they provide the information para sa ating mamamayan," National Capital Region Police Office spokesperson Lt. Col. Dexter Versola told reporters at the Laging Handa briefing.

(We acknowledge that broadcasters are our partners in our democratic process because they provide information to the public.)

Press groups have sounded alarm over the killing of Lapid on Monday night in Las Pinas City, with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines saying it "shows that journalism remains a dangerous profession in the country."

The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines said the incident "underscores the threats and risks Filipino media workers continue to face in the country."

Condemnation of the incident and expressions of concern were also made by the Commission on Human Rights, some embassies in the country, and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.

Versola had said that it is "highly probable" the slaying of the commentator was related to his work and that it was carefully planned.

He is the second journalist to be killed under the Marcos, Jr. administration, a journalists' group said.

"Journalists are essential in upholding democracy and demanding accountability in any society," the CHR said in its statement.

"We have also repeatedly underscored the crucial need to ensure a safe and unimpaired media environment in order to amplify the voices of the most marginalised sectors and to foster balance in communicating the nation’s state of affairs," it added.

"Journalists, who are primarily responsible for informing the Filipino citizenry of critical information, must be able to work without fear. Any threat or attack to press freedom is a direct threat to people’s right to truth and information."

The CHR said "allowing multiple diverging views to flourish is an important facet of a working democracy and, thus, needs to be protected."

ON KIDNAPPING HOAX

Meanwhile, Versola said he favors a bill punishing "hoax kidnapping."

"Para po mapanatili natin na tama 'yung mga lumalabas na information na nababasa natin sa mga media platform ay mas maganda po na ma-filter out at wala pong mga 'fake news' or hoax or rehashed information na nakakagawa ng inconvenience at takot sa ating mga mamamayan," he said.

(In order to maintain that the information we read on media platforms is true, it is good if we can filter them out and stamp out "fake news" and rehash information, which can inconvenience and incite fear among the people.)

"Sana magkaroon ng mas maigting na batas to address this issue."

(I hope we can pass a law that can address this issue.)