NPC condemns NE broadcaster’s killing

THE National Press Club (NPC) condemned in the strongest word possible the death of Cabanatuan City broadcaster, Julius Cauzon which he described as uncontrolled culture of impunity under the Aquino administration.

“Once again, the death of Cauzon brings to the foreferont the ugly truth that   the culture of impunity that has victimized dozens of members of the press remains uncontrolled under the Aquino administration,” Marlon Purificacion, NPC acting president, said on Friday.

“Even as we condole with the family of Cauzon, we condemn, in the strongest word possible, his murder, coming as it did when the entire media community is preparing to commemorate the anniversary this month of the ‘Ampatuan Massacre,” he added.

With this, Purificacion urged speedy probe on the slain journalist which believed to be likely connected to Cauzon’s advocacy to make Cabanatuan City to be classified as a “highly urbanized city.”

“The authorities should leave no stone unturned in order to speedily arrest the suspects,” said   Purificacion.

According to human rights lawyer, JV Bautista, two suspects riding-in-tandem (RIT) shot dead Cauzon around 8:00am this morning in Cabanatuan City, before making good their escape.

Bautista said he “personally knows” Cauzon, 51, as a “decent and very professional” anchor of his morning news program, “Ugnayan sa Barangay” that airs daily over DWJJ radio.

He added that Cauzon’s death is “most likely work-related” considering that the victim was very active in supporting Cabanatuan’s campaign to be classified as a “highly-urbanized city.”

The movement, however, is vehemently opposed by top provincial leaders headed by Gov. Aurelio Umali of Nueva Ecija.

“The NPC finds it dismaying that even as we are in the midst of our preparation to commemorate the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre that victimized 34 of our media colleagues, another ‘martyr’ in the person of Cauzon have been added to our ranks,” Purificacion said.

He also assailed Malacañang “for paying lip service” to defending press freedom and human rights while not taking enough efforts to apprehend the suspects like ex-Palawan governor Joel Reyes who managed to slip out of the country.

Reyes and his brother are principal suspects in the killing of Palawan broadcaster, Gerardo “Doc Gerry” Ortega.

“We hope that the quest for justice for Cauzon would not be another exercise in futility on the part of his family and the Philippine media community,” Purificacion said.

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