Virador to Davao Media: Be Not Afraid

Apr. 25, 2007

DAVAO CITY–While condemning the attacks against journalists, the Bayan Muna partylist group has urged members of the media not to be cowed by the attacks against them and to continue expose the illegal activities of corrupt government officials.

These attacks should not pull the media down but instead should become enough reason to continue fighting the culture of corruption and other forms of illegal activities of government officials. These attacks are obviously designed to scare and stop the media and this can only be stopped by continued fight for genuine press freedom, said Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador.

Virador issued this statement following the recent attacks on members of media, the latest of whom was Philippine Daily Inquirer Southern Luzon Correspondent Delfin Mallari.

A day before the attack of Mallari, Carmelo Palacios of the government-run Radyo ng Bayan in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, was found dead.

Virador said that the media should continue standing for the welfare of the people who have been victims of injustices and violence and are now haunted by the unfortunate truth behind the governments failure, if not deliberate abandonment, to protect them from the injustices and violence committed by some government officials themselves.

The Mindanao solon added that the culture of impunity has gone to the worst that even the vanguards of freedom are not being spared from violent attacks. He said the attacks on the members of the media also expose the vulnerability of the people to these attacks, too, especially those who rely to government security forces for protection.

Sadly, he said, there had been proof that the attackers of people, the media and leaders and members of progressive organizations, are elements of government security forces themselves.

The question now is who will these people turn to for security when the groups mandated by the Philippine Constitution to protect them are the ones attacking them? If the media are not spared from these attacks despite the semblance of security that their profession gives them, how much more the people whose voices are barely heard and whose rights and freedom are always violated? Virador said.

And so we urge the media to remain true to the people who are counting on them. Your strength is the strength of the people Virador added. #

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