Guevarra to direct task force on media security to investigate journalist’s killing in Davao del Sur

Published October 31, 2021, 2:48 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra (2)

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) will lead and coordinate in the investigation of the Oct. 30 killing of a journalist in Bansalan town, Davao del Sur.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, co-chairman of the PTFoMS, said on Sunday, Oct. 31, he will issue the directive for the task force to investigate the killing of Orlando “Dondon” Dinoy.

Dinoy was a reporter of Newsline Philippines and also hosted a radio program over Energy FM in Digos City.

Police reports stated that Dinoy was killed by an unidentified gunman inside his rented apartment at past 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Guevarra said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are among the member agencies of the PTFoMS.

He then advised journalists who feel they are in danger in the pursuit of their work.

“We are calling on all journalists and media persons who feel that their personal security is at risk to immediately inform the PTFoMS, through its Executive Director Joel Egco, so that the task force may take all the necessary protective or preemptive measures,” he said.

Last Friday, Oct. 29, Guevarra said every violent attack against a Filipino journalist is investigated immediately by government law enforcement agencies.

“The Presidential Task Force on Media Security created under AO (Administrative Order) No.1 has been doing its job diligently and has helped in the prosecution of many cases of media violence,” Guevarra pointed out.

Guevarra’s comment was asked by journalists covering the DOJ after the United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released its Global Impunity Index and ranked the Philippines as the seventh most dangerous country for journalists to be in.

Guevarra said Filipino journalists “are in the better position to say whether their lives are in mortal danger as they go about practicing their profession.”

He said the prosecution of Filipino journalists for libel should not be considered as government attacks against media.

“Facing libel cases in court is not unusual for journalists anywhere in the world,” he stressed.

“These legal actions (for libel) are mostly initiated by private persons who think that their reputation has been besmirched,” he said.

The Global Impunity Index is topped by Somalia and then followed by Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, and India.