Press statement of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication on the Jan. 24 killing of journalist Gerardo Ortega.
We, the undersigned faculty members, students and staff of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC), express our outrage over the killing of still another journalist – Gerardo Ortega, a radio broadcast journalist – last January 24 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Ortega is the second to be killed during the seven month-old term of the Aquino administration. He was reportedly shot in the head and body inside a store.
We are alarmed by the administration’s failure to stop the killings of journalists and other forms of harassment against members of the media.
We view this failure to take swift and decisive action as an indication of the administration’s indifference or lack of appreciation of the media’s role as the social institution tasked with truth-telling toward enabling the people to make sense of social problems and to participate in their solution.
Only by arresting the perpetrators and punishing the guilty can the Aquino administration unequivocally send the message that it is putting an end to the “culture of impunity” which has led to the murder of many journalists and other victims of human rights.
We demand an immediate and thorough investigation that will lead to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of those responsible for this latest act of violence against media.
This press statement is signed by 26 faculty members, 7 administrative staff and 252 students from the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication led by Dean Roland B. Tolentino.
For verification, please call the UP CMC Department of Journalism at 920-6852.
Source: UP CMC College Secretary Danilo Arao