Legarda urges Pnoy for the protection of media
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 7, 2010-Senator Loren Legarda reiterated her call to  “An Act Qualifying the Killing of Members of Broadcast and Print Media on the Occasion of the Exercise of their Functions, As a Crime of Murder” to President Aquino III for the immediate passage of Committee Report No. 9.

She said that one year has passed since the ruthless and gruesome killing of 57 individuals, including 32 journalists in Maguindanao. This is so far the worst massacre of media practitioners in the Philippine history, and we would not want a repeat of this incident ever again.
In her speech, Legarda reported that the 2010 World Press Freedom Index by the Reporters without Borders where the Maguindanao massacre has been attributed to the nations decline from our 2009 rank of 122, we suffered a heavy fall—34 notches down—this year as we ranked 156 out of 178 countries included in the list.
A study by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility showed that since 2001, sans the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, there have been 28 journalists and media practitioners killed in the line of duty.
“Mr. President, these numerous cases have tarnished our country’s state of press freedom, supposedly one of the freest in the world. As a former journalist myself, I cannot let this cycle of violence go on. We cannot sit idly by and watch our country, which is a democratic state, be branded as a nation where the media’s freedom is curtailed by silencing the messengers of news and seekers of truth,” Legarda said.
Legarda pointed out that the killing of journalists and media practitioners should be stopped and protected while in the lawful exercise of their functions. “We can be instrumental in achieving that through the immediate passage of this measure,” Legarda ended. (Jason de Asis)