Casiño calls for prompt justice for victims of media killings

PARTY LIST representative Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) called on the Aquino administration to address weak law enforcement and the culture of impunity in the country after the killing of a radio broadcaster in Cotabato City.

The remains of Eddie Apostol, a 52-year-old DXND radio talk show host, was found five days after he was reported missing. Bound in rope and shot twice in the head, it may be another case of extrajudicial killing.

“The fact that this kind of crime persists is a reflection of weak law enforcement and the abhorrent culture of impunity. It seems that people are not afraid of the law anymore, to the detriment of media practitioners who investigate and expose corrupt practices,” said the progressive solon.

“This is already the sixth case of media killing under the Aquino administration. As early as May last year, we had already filed a resolution urging the government to carry out comprehensive and concrete actions to bring perpetrators before the bar of justice. Until now, nothing has happened,” he added.

House Resolution 1239 states that, “forming local task forces every time a journalist is killed is hardly comprehensive action to address a larger problem of weak law enforcement and a tolerated culture of impunity. In fact, statistics from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists show that 71% of suspected “source of fire” in murder cases are government officials. It is no wonder then that gunmen have the audacity to kill in broad daylight, when they are protected or even paid by those in power.”

The same resolution mentions the assassination of RMN-Palawan radio commentator and environmentalist Gerardo Ortega.

“The suspects in Ortega’s murder, which include former Palawan Governor Mario Joel Reyes and Coron Mayor Mario Reyes Jr., remain free and seemingly outside the ambit of justice as they recently escaped to Vietnam with the help of immigration officers,” Casiño added.

“If President Aquino is really for a matuwid na daan, he should first put behind bars all government officials and agents involved in extrajudicial killings,” he said.

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