It only takes journalists’ blood for evil to triump


June 13, 2011 NPC President Jerry S. Yap

It only takes journalists’

blood for evil to triumph


The killers want journalists’ blood to nourish corruption, drugs, sex and gambling. This is the reality why the killing never sleeps. Coupled with the fact that law enforcement has not been enough, there is no light in sight.

One is clear: with the killing today (June 13, 2011) of radio broadcaster Romeo Olea, reporter-announcer of DWEB-FM based on Nabua town and a writer-reporter of Bicol Mail, a regional newspaper, the killing never sleeps.

Olea was shot at 5:30 p.m. while driving his motorcycle on his way to the radio station. The incident occurred in front of Holy Child Learning Center at the Iriga-Nabua boundary while on his way to report to work. He sustained two gunshot wounds in the stomach of a 9-mm gun. He breathed his last at 5:55 a.m.

The National Press Club of the Philippines is therefore insisting once more to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to create a special body that will do massive and deep investigation to identify the murderers of press practitioners, file cases against journalists’ murderers, arrest the triggermen and their brains, and work for the convictions of these marauders of press freedom. The certainty of arrest, prosecution and conviction is the only best deterrent to crimes.

The Philippines is now popular as the “killing field” for journalists, tagged as the No. 3 most dangerous country for working mediamen. But the killing is deliberate in our place unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, the No. 1 and No. 2, where the killing of journalists occurs because of wars.

At the start of the term of P-Noy, he approved the proposal of the NPC to create a “super body” on press-related killings. But he backtracked later after believing in the assurances of lieutenants that things can be handled well without that special group. This is unfortunate, considering that the killing of journalists brings much bigger shame before the international community than other crimes of murders.

Now, these advisers are proven wrong. The killing continues.

As such, it is puerile for Undersecretary of Justice Francisco Baraan III to stay in his position as in charge of the Maguindanao massacre trial and the “extrajudicial killings” against journalists and political killings.

Since P-Noy began his term as the 15th President of the Republic, eight journalists have already been killed.

This is not to count those murder attempts at media men, including the one that took place on May 15, 2010, shortly after it became clear that P-Noy won the elections, where radio commentator Jerome Tabanganay was shot at DZRK station in Tabuk, Kalinga but managed to crawl to the microphone and cry for help, prompting the gunmen to flee. Last June 7, Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac raided the announcer’s booth and smashed a microphone on the mouth of Tabanganay.

Can P-Noy be bolder?

Those who have been killed since P-Noy started serving as the President on July 1, 2010 are as follows:

1. July 3, 2010 -- 75-year-old radio commentator and community journalist Jose Daguio was shot dead at 8 p.m. while having a dinner inside his house in Barangay Tuga, Tabuk, Kalinga. The police claimed he was killed by known cattle rustlers.

2. July 9, 2010 -- Miguel Belen, field reporter of DWEB FM station in Nabua, Camarines Sur, was shot at along Zone 3, Barangay San Jose Pagaraon, Nabua at 8:30 p.m.

3. August 1, 2010 – Edilberto Cruz, publisher of Salida tabloid in Nueva Ecija, was shot in the evening while driving a motorcycle along Maharlika Highway in Barangay San Juan Accfa, Cabanatuan City

4. December 10, 2010 – Edison Flameniana Sr., columnist of Mindanao Inquirer was shot dead on December 10, 2010 in Tabudok, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur

5. January 24, 2011 -- Dr. Gerry “Doc Gerry” Ortega was shot dead while inside an Ukay-Ukay Store in Puerto Princesa, after coming from his radio program

6. February 1, 2011 – Cirilo Gallardo, 38, a broadcaster of DWWW Spirit 96.9 FM and a teacher of the Divine Word College, a resident of Barangay Velasco, Tayum, Abra, was found dead with 13 stab wounds inside his room at the transmitter site of the radio station in Barangay Bangbangar, Bangued, Abra.

7. March 24, 2011 – Len Flores Somera was shot dead on the nape in Maysilo, Malabon City while she was waiting for a ride to her radio program over DZME.

8. June 13, 2011 – Romeo Olea, reporter-announcer of DWEB-FM based on Nabua town, who is also a writer-reporter of Bicol Mail, a regional newspaper, was shot at 5:30 p.m. while driving his motorcycle. The incident occurred in front of Holy Child Learning Center at the Iriga-Nabua boundary while on his way to report to work. He sustained two gunshot wounds in the stomach of a 9-mm gun.

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