Aquino forms ‘superbody’ to curb media slays

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has given law enforcement agencies specific instructions to run after perpetrators and masterminds behind the killings of journalists as he approved the creation of a “superbody” to probe the incidents.

The “superbody” is headed by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

The announcement was made by Director Magtanggol Gatdula, the newly-appointed head of the National Bureau of Investigation, during a courtesy call by officials of the National Press Club.

Gatdula said the President called to a meeting top officials of the departments of Justice, Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and the NBI to discuss the status of government efforts to curb the attacks on journalists.

“We had a meeting and he gave us specific instructions to produce results. He wants us to face the problem squarely and that’s what we are going to do. As the president said, para namang wala tayong binatbat sa mga ‘yan (journalist killers),” Gatdula told NPC officials headed by its president, Jerry Yap.

“There will be no sacred cows,” Gatdula said, adding that he has created a division at the NBI that will handle “cold cases” involving murdered journalists.

“This is now going to be a concerted, comprehensive effort. The president promised to provide all the resources needed to accomplish this particular mission,” he said, adding that the media should be involved.

Yap welcomed Gatdula’s announcement, saying it’s the “biggest sign of hope that media killings will finally come to an end.”

“We have done so much yet we haven’t done enough. Our campaign will not stop with the creation of this superbody. In fact, this is just the beginning. We call on all our colleagues in the media and the public to support this once and for all, honest to goodness effort,” said Yap.

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