ARMM TOPS LIST WITH 34 KILLED
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has classified regions that are most vulnerable to media killings with Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) topping the list.
According to the PTFoMS data from 2008 up to present, the ARMM has recorded 34 deaths, including 32 media workers killed in the so-called 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
In the Davao Region, Dennis Denora landed as victim No. 8 in media killings , to place the region at second in the PTFoM list.
Denora, a broadcast and print journalist, was shot and killed in Panabo City in Davao del Norte on May 7. Police is looking at politics as among the possible motives in the murder.
Aside from running a public affairs program in a local radio station, Denora also published the weekly paper Trends and Times, known to be critical of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Alvarez, representing the First District of Davao del Norte, denied hand in the killing.
PTFoMS Executive Director Joel Egco explained “vulnerable” has been chosen as appropriate term instead of “dangerous” in classifying regions that have reports of media killings.
He said “dangerous” connotes helplessness, reactive, and defeatist negativity.
“Vulnerability, on the other hand, brings images of hope, proactivity, positivity and eventual victory by addressing their vulnerability,” Egco said in a press statement.
Davao Region (XI), also in Mindanao, is a far second on the list with eight media killings, followed by Region VII (Central Visayas) with six and another Mindanao Region (XIII) recorded four cases.
Four regions, including the National Capital Region (NCR), share the fifth spot with five reported media killings. Other regions with five cases are Regions X, XIII and V.
Another four regions — Regions III, IX, IV-A and IV-B have four reported cases each since 2008 while Region I and Cordillera Administrative Region ranked 7th with two killings each and Regions VI, VIII and II are considered the least vulnerable with one case each.
“This brings the grand total to 67 media killings, each of which is being monitored, investigated and followed-up by the TF towards its judicial conclusion,” Egco said.
The PTFoMS was created through Administrative Order No. 01 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in October 2016.
The task force has been conducting seminars on its Operational Guidelines and Protocols in different regions to further boost its resolve to fulfill a mandate of protecting the life, liberty and security of media workers in the country.
“We will continue to be on top of the situation and regularly update all our stakeholders on the status of these cases of media killings,” Egco said.
“Our battle cry is failure is not an option and these are the words we live by,” he added. (with PNA)