Palace promises justice for slain journos

Posted at 02/12/14 8:32 PM

MANILA - Malacanang promised to bring justice to slain journalists following a report that the country slid down further two notches in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index.

"We are committed to pursue and prosecute assailants of slain journalists so that we may obtain justice for those who were killed in the practice of their profession," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said.

The Philippines is now on the 149th spot in the report by the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).

The country was at its lowest at 156th in 2010 after the Maguindanao massacre. When President Benigno Aquino took office, its ranking went up to 140th only to slide to 147th last year.

"In an unstable environment, the media become strategic goals or targets for groups or individuals trying to control news and information in violation of the guarantees enshrined in international conventions," the RSF said.

Coloma said Malacanang will ensure “that there are no prior restraints to the exercise of press freedom.”

Last November, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines twitted Coloma for "trivializing" the killing of journalists. He was quoted as saying that “the problem is not really that serious.”

"Now, through Sec. Sonny Coloma, we have a very clear idea of how much press freedom and justice mean to this administration -- zilch. Going by Coloma’s twisted logic, 157 murders less the 32 victims of the massacre give us 125, a trivial figure," the NUJP said.