Cayetano: violence against media is unacceptable

Calls for strategic effort to protect media personalities from violence and intimidation

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano condemned in the strongest terms the recent shooting of ABS-CBN broadcaster Anthony Taberna’s newly-opened coffee shop in Quezon City, stressing the need for government to address the growing number of extra-judicial killings and harassment incidents against Filipino journalists.

Citing recent statistics from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Cayetano said the Philippines continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media personalities to work as by the end of 2014, a total of 30 Filipino journalists have already been killed since 2010. Cayetano

As the Fourth Estate, the media is considered to be one of our nation’s most powerful tools against graft and corruption, and is an essential ingredient for Philippine democracy. And yet, government remains unable to give members of the media the proper care and protection that they need in their line of work,” he further lamented.

Cayetano has called for the establishment of a more comprehensive and strategic plan of action to safeguard the rights and security of media personnel, whistle-blowers, and even state witnesses against acts of violence, intimidation, and threats to their lives.

“Congress has provided our law enforcement agencies with all the resources that they need to ensure the safety of every Filipino media personality. Still, incidents like this continue to happen and have gotten even worse. There has to be a way to put a stop to these acts of violence against the media and the public in general,” Cayetano noted.

He then reiterated the need for the full and effective implementation of a whistle-blower’s act aimed at protecting witnesses of graft and corrupt practices from threats to their lives and to make sure that their role in exposing anomalies will not harm their family’s safety and livelihood.

The senator, meanwhile, urged members of the media to remain vigilant amid these precarious times, but reminded them to keep fulfilling their duty of reporting the truth to the people and strengthening and promoting the country’s democratic process. #