Press Release
August 4, 2014

Legarda Laments Low Conviction Rate on Media Killings

Senator Loren Legarda renewed her call for continuous inquiry on the increasing incidents of media killings in the country as she lamented the low conviction rate in cases of slain journalists.

Legarda, a former broadcast journalist, filed anew a Resolution calling on the Senate to conduct an inquiry on incidents of media killings and said that, "the unresolved killings of media practitioners in the country will remain a threat to the constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of expression and of the press - two elements which are critical for genuine democracy to flourish."

In a Senate hearing on media killings conducted last May, the Philippine National Police reported that of the 48 incidents of media killings recorded since 2001, only six were resolved with convictions even as 36 cases were filed in court and 12 are on trial. Six of the cases were archived, five were dismissed and four were resolved with acquittal by the courts.

Legarda noted that the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) 2014 Global Impunity Index ranked the Philippines third among countries "where journalists are slain and the killers go free."

Iraq and Somalia ranked first and second, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, which monitors the attitude and intention of governments towards media freedom, ranked the Philippines 147th among 179 countries covered by the report.

"We have to put a stop to the killing of journalists and media practitioners. We need to know what hinders the immediate resolution of these cases so we can find solutions and propose appropriate measures. We cannot condone these crimes and we must not tolerate a culture of impunity," said Legarda.

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