Press Release
August 8, 2008


Senate Majority Leader and former broadcaster Kiko Pangilinan today condemned the latest attacks on Roxas City broadcast journalist Martin Roxas, who succumbed to a gunshot in the spinal column after two motorcycle-riding gunmen pursued him after his radio program at the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN).

"Just three days ago, Dennis Cuesta of RMN Gensan was also shot in broad daylight. His attackers have not been put to justice and here we have again another assault against a broadcast journalist. At the rate we're going in handling these crimes, the chilling effect of these brutalities on our media will not only cost us more lives but also our press freedom," Kiko said.

Roxas is the fourth journalist to be murdered this year and the 59th since PGMA came to power in 2001.

"The buck stops with the PNP and our courts to resolve these cases swiftly. This dismal reputation of our country speaks much about the competence--or lack thereof, of our police. This is not just an attack on the Philippine media but also a blow to the rule of law and our justice system. The PNP needs to step up its efforts fast to curb this unacceptable state of human rights in the country lest more ill-intentioned individuals will be emboldened to commit crimes. We also appeal to our judiciary to expedite the resolution of cases of media practitioners so that justice may prevail," Kiko added.

"We should be ashamed of ourselves for extolling our 'free press' when our journalists are being gunned down left and right in broad daylight. We need to strengthen the rule of law and the justice system if we are to protect press freedom in this nation!" Kiko ended.

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