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Campaign to protect journalists continuing, says official

Posted On 2014 Jan 27
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Student protesters hold a slogan denouncing the killing of 58 people, including at least 32 media workers, during a rally in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Sunday Nov. 21, 2010. Almost a year has past since Andal Ampatuan Jr., the scion of a powerful clan, was said to have led his men in killing 58 people, including 32 media workers, in southern Maguindanao province.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Student protesters hold a slogan denouncing the killing of 58 people, including at least 32 media workers, during a rally in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Sunday Nov. 21, 2010. Almost a year has past since Andal Ampatuan Jr., the scion of a powerful clan, was said to have led his men in killing 58 people, including 32 media workers, in southern Maguindanao province.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The administration continues to coordinate efforts among government agencies to address media killings in the country, a Palace official said on Thursday.

“We continue to work with the concerned government agencies. Ang direktiba po sa kanila ay pag-ibayuhin ang pagsisiyasat at paghahanap sa mga gumawa ng mga krimeng ito, dahil hindi naman po natin mapapahintulutan ang paggawa ng karahasan laban sa mga journalists, at laban sa mga nagtatrabaho bilang mga peryodista and in the exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday.

Among the steps being taken are the changes in the rules of court to speed up ligation, especially with regards to the biggest case involving violence against journalists—the Maguindanao massacre.

Three RTC judges were so far assigned to handle the case, he said.

And at a time there were numerous media killings happening, Coloma said the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies made a commitment to heighten the campaign to arrest the perpetrators.

“Kaya pag-iibayuhin ng ating pamahalaan ang pagsisikap na mabigyan ng katarungan ang karahasan laban sa mga journalists,” he said.

Also part of the government’s commitment to protect journalists is to control the proliferation of loose firearms in the country, Coloma said

The President signed a new gun law allowing professionals to carry guns for protection as well as raising the prison term to at least 30 years for anyone caught possessing unlicensed firearm. (MNS)

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