MANILA, Sept. 30 2014— A Catholic bishop branded President Benigno Aquino III as “irresponsible” for downplaying the spate of media killings in the country.
Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo tore into President after he said that many “media killings” were not exactly related to the work of the victims.
“That statement is really very irresponsible. It’s like adding a salt on the top injury, particularly to the family of the victims,” Arigo said over Church-run Radio Veritas on Monday.
In a forum organized by Egmont Institute in Brussels, Belgium last Sept. 16, Aquino claimed that not all media killings are work-related.
Arigo claimed it’s obvious that Aquino just made “alibis” over the “failure” of his administration to solve the media killings.
“He is producing alibis and more excuses which are not right,” he added.
“PNoy is only making excuses. Apparently, the government has failed to address the situation,” Arigo, who heads the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, added.
According to the prelate, PNoy’s statement amounted to an admission that the government is not capable of rooting out the “culture of impunity” in the country.
“I had a meeting with the widow of Dr. Ortega, and she was really upset at how President Aquino downplayed the incidence of media killings,” he disclosed.
Dr. Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega was a news anchor and commentator of Radyo Mo Nationwide’s (RMN)’s Palawan station dwAR, who had been shot dead in a separate media-killing case in Puerto Princesa City in 2011.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) earlier criticized Aquino for seemingly taking media killings lightly.
Since Aquino came to office in 2010, at least 25 media workers have been killed, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). (CBCPNews/Raymond A. Sebastián)