The media and arts alliance LODI (Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity) condemns the murder of Albay broadcaster Joey Llana in Daraga town today.
Reports reaching LODI say that unidentified persons waylaid the 38-year old broadcaster’s vehicle on P6 road, Brgy. Penafrancia around 4:00. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead by emergency rescue staff around 6:00 am.
LODI demands a swift and transparent investigation into this latest murder of a journalist, the 12th under President Duterte.
Since assuming power, Duterte has practically presided over the killing of a journalist once every two months.
In between killings, Duterte orders harassment cases, closures, delays in franchise renewals, verbal attacks, and denial of access to journalists in Malacañang and Mindanao.
LODI also deplores the Philippine Army, for blocking Mindanao journalists from covering the evacuation of more than 1,000 Lumad in Brgy Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
The military claims its blockades are for the evacuees security. Journalists are not security threats. Their presence and their documentation of conflict-related incidents actually promote protection for civilians trapped or dislocated by war.
The pending anti-terrorism measure pushed by Duterte allies in Congress also directly attacks press freedom and free expression by considering coverage of dissenters and rebels as crimes.
Journalists serve the community best if they are free to present the many voices in society, including those involved in civil or armed conflict. To equate coverage with “glorification” is to nothing but censorship at the level of tyranny.
The bill also allows the freezing of funds without giving “suspects” a chance to challenge charges. This provision represents a possible weapon to paralize critical media.
We call on the Filipino people to campaign for a halt to killings of media workers — and all citizens. We also invite our fellow citizens to fight efforts to legislate dictatorship.
This fight should also target Duterte’s planned charter change that would leave professional and citizen journalists to the mercy of a small cabal with powers to legislate and execute policies and, likewise, act as judges.
We will bring the calls for justice for Llana and other slain journalists at the United People’s SONA on Monday. Duterte must be held accountable for his failure to protect them, and more accurately for inciting or justifying violence against them. #