The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticized President Benigno Aquino III and his administration for allegedly failing to address the media killings in the Philippines.
IFJ Asia Pacific acting director Jane Worthington said the Aquino administration's failure to protect Filipino journalists "has perpetuated an environment where journalists are murdered in their homes, on the street and in public."
"The horrific depth of impunity in the Philippines means that attackers do not even bother to shield their identities when they are carrying out these horrific assassinations," Worthington said in an article posted on the IFJ website on Monday.
Worthington made the statement following the latest media killing in the country. On May 23, radio broadcaster Samuel Oliverio was shot and killed along Del Pilar Street in Digos City.
Citing a report from the National Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP), the IFJ said Oliverio was on his way home from the public market when he was shot by two gunmen who did not even bother to cover their faces.
The IFJ said according to Oliverio's colleagues, Digos was known for his scathing commentaries on local politics and for delivering strong views on his program against the proliferation of illegal gambling and illegal drugs in the city.
The global media watchdog is urging the Aquino administration to take "much-needed decisive action" aimed at curbing the disturbing number of attacks directed at the broadcast media.
"Samuel Olivierio's killing cannot be ignored or disregarded as so many others have been – again it highlights how the Aquino government has been proven to be guilty of murder by its own inaction," Worthington said.
Oliverio is the third journalist killed in the Philippines so far in 2014 and the 28th killed during the Aquino administration.
During a joint press conference last month with then visiting US President Barack Obama, Aquino said the government has set up an interagency committee to look on extralegal killings and forced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of right to life, liberty and security of persons such as the attacks on journalists.
Saying investigations on media killings are ongoing, Aquino also vowed to go after the perpetrators of the attacks.
"And may we just state for the record that even when it comes to journalists, it is not a policy of this state to silence critics. All you have to do would be to turn on the TV, the radio, or look at any newspaper to find an abundance of criticisms," Aquino also said.
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SOURCE: PHILSTAR, YOUTUBE