Press Release
December 13, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today condemned the unceasing attacks against journalists, saying the culture of impunity against the media has worsened in the past few weeks which recorded three deaths in the last 12 days.

Pimentel said that he will call for an immediate Senate investigation into the spate of media killings, counting as its latest victim radio commentator Rolegio Butalid of Tagum City, who was cut down by bullets after stepping out of a radio station in Tagum city on Wednesday this week.

The brutal, day-light murder came just less than a week after another radio commentator Michael Milo in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur and Joas Dignos in Valencia City, Bukidnon, were also ambushed by unknown assailants.

Pimentel said that the non-stop killings of known media personalities are obviously work-related, noting that the victims are popular among their listeners because of their exposes against corruptions and other illegal activities in their areas.

He said that another radio reporter, Jonavin Vilalba in Iloilo city, survived an attack when he was fired upon by unidentified men while opening the gate of his house in Jaro district. Vilalba was wounded in the right ankle and left foot.

Pimentel called on police authorities to step up their campaign against criminals even as he urged them to work extra hard to arrest the suspects and find out who are the real masterminds behind the series of killings in Mindanao.

Since 1992, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that 72 journalists were killed, ranking the Philippines as the third worst in its impunity index of countries that failed to minimize violence against the media.

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