By Genalyn Kabiling
The government has “strongly” condemned the brazen killing of a radio anchor in Albay and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Task Force Media Killings will be relentless in according justice to this latest victim. We condemn this instance as yet another infringement on the rights to life and a free press,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a text message.
Joey Llana, a broadcaster at local radio station DWZR, was on his way to work when he was shot dead by unknown assailants in Daraga, Albay. The police have started an investigation into the incident.
Malacañang earlier defended that the government has taken steps to to address media violence in the country, citing the creation of the task force to monitor such cases and extend aid to victims and families.
In the global press freedom report released by Reporters Without Borders, the Philippines ranked 133rd out of the 180 countries amid the alleged growing animosity towards journalists in the country. Manila previously ranked 127th in the press freedom index.
The France-based media watchdog noted that President Duterte “not only constantly insults reporters but has also warned them that they are not exempt from assassination.”
Roque however recently argued that journalists are still free to work despite the President’s tirades against some media companies. He also noted that Duterte has neither ordered the arrest nor filed any libel case against members of the media.
He explained that Duterte merely responds whenever he becomes a “punching bag” in the press.