Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Ortega’

2013 World Press Freedom Day: The Press is all of Us


 

Tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day and there is no more opportune time to highlight the contradictions between the name of what we are supposed to celebrate and the real happenings in the flesh.

This year, several killings and harassments of media practitioners have already been documented. Last February, a photographer and correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer were hit by policemen while covering the protest action in Davao City of the Typhoon Pablo victims. Also, criminal libel continues to threaten the work of several journalists in the country. Last March, two Southern Luzon correspondents of The Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon were charged with a libel case by a gold trader from Camarines Norte. In the campus press, the former Editor-in-Chief of UP Baguio Outcrop continues to face a legal battle because of an allegedly libelous lampoon article that came out during her term.

The murder of Gerry Ortega, an environmentalist and journalist from Palawan, continues to be unresolved up to now. The same lack of justice applies to the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre, 30 of which were journalists and their families.

As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, let us bear in mind the grim happenings that sadly taint our cause of celebration. More importantly, let us continue our fight for a more genuine Press Freedom all over the world and for a Press that will not be harassed, intimidated, charged legally, surveilled, abducted and murdered for what they write and what principles they uphold.

Ultimately, the Press is all of us; the Press is not just the people behind the newspaper articles and the news programs; the Press also includes the people who are the producers, consumers and analysts of information that is shown in the media.

 

 

For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, 09268105915

 

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As another witness in Gerry Ortega case dies: Justice system is dying, needs revival through our vigorous asking for it – CEGP Baguio-Benguet


 

Last Tuesday, Dennis Aranas, another key suspect-turned-witness in the infamous shooting of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega in Palawan was found dead while in prison. He was the second witness to die which the Ortega family fears could hinder the progress of the investigation on Gerry Ortega’s murder two years ago.

CEGP Baguio-Benguet sees this incident as part of the gradual killing of justice in the country where those who forward legitimate calls for change in the face of an increasingly dismal social condition are being persecuted by the powers-that-be. The killing of a vital witness no doubt puts a major blockage in resolving the murder case of Dr. Gerry Ortega who was killed during the height of the controversial Malampaya Gas Project in Palawan. In his radio show in the province, Ortega used to fearlessly brought up the anomaly of funds’ misuse in the said project.

Tied with the duty of journalists is the exposure of all the facts and offering of sharp views concerning the concrete realities that each piece of fact implies. Ortega’s murder can be easily linked to his scathing remarks on what he deemed was an inappropriate transaction regarding the Malampaya Gas Project. Now, more than two years after his murder, justice keeps on being delayed and further tactics are being conducted to maintain the case under gray light.

This latest death of Dennis Aranas is the latest blow to the already frail justice system in the country. The obvious call now is for all of us to come together and inject some life to the sick order of justice in the country by vigorously and vehemently demanding for it from those whose interests are currently protected by this widespread injustice.

 

 

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