Press Release
August 5, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar says the 10-week deadline given by the President to law enforcers, particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DoJ), is well and good but the relatives of journalists and activists who were killed and are still missing are getting impatient and deserve speedier delivery of justice.

gThe incidence of media and leftist killings is getting worst. It has become even more frequent. Itfs good that an ultimatum has been given for law enforcers to buckle down to work and solve the cases. Letfs just hope that they will arrest real suspects and not fall guys,h says Villar.

The President issued the deadline a day after three people were killed in a matter of three hours in what is now referred to as eBloody Mondayf (August 1). The killings took place in Metro Manila, Kalinga and Sorsogon. gBesides the murder of leftist militants and journalist, the law enforcers should also seriously address the cases of missing student activists. The parents of these missing students still have no clue as to what happened to their children,h adds Villar.

To recall, Villar led a Senate investigation of the spate of media killings last year. Villar authored and filed Senate Resolution 252 directing the Senate Committee on Public Order which he chairs to conduct an inquiry into the emedia killingsf. Villar cites on his Senate Resolution that gthe Philippinesf distinction as ethe most murderous country for journalistsf is embarrassing. The climate of violence and impunity should be put to a stop by strengthening the governmentfs will to solve crimes particularly against journalists.h

According to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), since 1986, 54 journalists had been slain in the line of duty; while an estimated 17 were killed for reasons not involving their work. However, CMFR cites that gSince 1986, only two cases actually led to convictions. There are other suspects in the PNPfs Task Force Newsmen list of convicted murderers. However, these men are behind bars because of other crimes and not because of the journalistfs murder.h

gThe government should exhaust every possible means to shoot down accusations that extra-judicial killings are becoming state policy. Law enforcers should round up the suspects and jail the killers even well ahead of the 10-week deadline since the families of the victims are getting impatient and desperate,h says Villar.

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