Hindi sinang-ayunan ng dalawang samahan ng mga mamamahayag sa Pilipinas ang naging pahayag ni President-elect Rodrigo Duterte tungkol sa dahilan ng pagpaslang ng ilang miyembro ng media.
Sa kanyang press conference kagabi, May 31, sinabi ni Duterte na ang ilan sa mga pinatay na miyembro ng media ay mga corrupt at biased o may mga kinikilingan.
“MURDER IS NO JOKE.” Ikinabahala ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) ang sinabing ito ni Duterte.
Sa kanilang statement kagabi, May 31, sinabi ni NUJP Chairman Ryan Rosauro na tila nayurakan ang mga pangalan at magagandang alaala ng halos 200 pinaslang na mga miyembro ng media mula pa noong 1986.
Hindi rin daw makatarungang bansagang 'corrupt' ang napatay na isang alagad ng media.
Bahagi pa ng kanilang pahayag: “Mr. Duterte’s crass pronouncement not only sullies the names and memories of all 176 of our colleagues who have been murdered since 1986, he has also, in effect, declared open season to silence the media, both individual journalists and the institution, on the mere perception of corruption.
“The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) does not gloss over the fact that corruption is among the most pressing problems faced by the media. Nor do we deny that this could be the reason for a number of media killings.”
Sinabi rin ng NUJP na magiging mas mapagbantay ang grupo sa administrasyon ni Duterte.
Narito ang buong pahayag ng NUJP sa pamamagitan ng kanilang chairman na si Ryan Rosauro:
“Nothing justifies the murder of journalists!
“It is appalling that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte should justify the murder of journalists in the country by playing the corruption card.
“In his press conference in Davao City Tuesday, Mr. Duterte issued the broad assertion that 'most journalists killed are corrupt.'
“'Just because you’re a journalist doesn’t mean you’re exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch,” he said.
“'Freedom of expression won’t save you,' he added. 'The Constitution cannot help you kapag binaboy mo ang isang tao.'
“Mr. Duterte’s crass pronouncement not only sullies the names and memories of all 176 of our colleagues who have been murdered since 1986, he has also, in effect, declared open season to silence the media, both individual journalists and the institution, on the mere perception of corruption.
“The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) does not gloss over the fact that corruption is among the most pressing problems faced by the media. Nor do we deny that this could be the reason for a number of media killings.
“However, it is one thing to recognize a possible reason for murder; it is a totally different thing to present this as a justification for taking life.
“Admittedly, this would not be the first time the perceived corruption of the media has been bandied as a justification for the murder of journalists. And Mr. Duterte tries to explain his thesis by claiming assassination is retribution from private individuals unjustly pilloried by errant journalists.
“He could not be further from the truth.
“While there may be instances where private individuals may have sought revenge against journalists for soiling their reputations, the data shows that, of the handful of media killings that have actually made it to the courts, the accused are invariably from government – elected officials, government executives or members of the security services – and invariably accused of corruption.
“Let us just cite a few of the more prominent cases – the murders of Edgar Damalerio of Pagadian City, Marlene Esperat of Tacurong City, and Gerry Ortega of Puerto Princesa City, and, of course, the most heinous of all, the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre, of which 32 of the 58 victims were media workers, making it not only the worst case of electoral violence in recent Philippine history but the single deadliest attack on journalists ever.
“We wonder if the President-elect is willing to face the orphans and widows of the victims of these killings and tell them, 'They were killed because they were corrupt.'
“As we have pointed out before, leadership, or even its mere semblance, carries weight and what leaders say, right or wrong, seriously or in jest, will resound with their followers. Thus, even if this be jest, and we see no reason to believe this was the case, your words may well be interpreted as marching order by those with an axe to grind against a critical press.
“In all honesty, Mr. President-elect, we were hopeful, following pronouncements by your spokesperson that you would push the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law and would constitute a special task force to investigate media killings, that we were on the cusp of a new era when freedom of the press and of expression would be respected, defended and promoted beyond lip service.
“Alas, it seems we were wrong.
“Or are we to be again treated to the excuse that it was all a joke and we need to be more discerning about your pronouncements?
“Murder is no joke. Neither is press freedom.
“Be that as it may, the independent Philippine media will not be cowed from fulfilling its duty to act as the people’s watchdog.”
“UNFAIR TO THE VICTIMS.” Samantala, sa pahayag na inilabas ng National Press Club (NPC), sa pamamagitan ng kanilang tagapamuno na si Paul Gutierrez, sinabi ng grupo na masyadong mapanghusga ang naging pahayag ng bagong halal na pangulo ng bansa.
Hindi man maipagkakaila, may ilang corrupt o tiwali kaya daw nililinis nila ang kanilang hanay mula sa mga alagad ng media na nagpapasilaw sa pera.
Nag-aalala rin silang baka ang naging pahayag ni Duterte ang magiging dahilan upang marami pang mga mamamahayag ang paslangin.
Narito ang buong pahayag ng National Press Club (NPC) ngayong araw, June 1:
“Anyway, his observation is too sweeping, generalized and therefore unfair to the victims in particular like doc gerry Ortega, d ampatuan victims and to the entire profession in general.
“While we acknowledge that there are also rotten members of d press similar to other professions like in d pnp and most especially among politicians, to simplify media killing as due to corruption in d press is to gloss over d fact that media killings happen due to the still prevalent culture of impunity.
“Wala pang nabibigyan ng katarungan sa mga napaslang na kasapi ng media particular sa nakaraang 6 taon. Kaya mas malalakas ang loob ng mga nagbabalak ng karahasan laban sa media.
“This 'branding' of d media would only justify more attacks against them.
“On d part of d npc, we have been tireless in ridding its roster of hao shiaos and in instilling a culture of responsibility and professionalism in its rank.
“Authorities we have work with can attest that we even encourage them to simply entrap members of the press, esp those using the profession and regardless of their affiliation, in trying to extort money from anybody.”