Solon seeks probe on killing of journalists

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 9 — Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday called on authorities to conduct a no-nonsense investigation on the recent killing of two journalists in Mindanao even as she expressed condemnation of the act.

She further sought for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

The latest victims of attack against journalists were identified as radiomen Rudy Alicaway of Zamboanga del Sur and Leo Diaz of Sultan Kudarat.

“The incidents bring to fore the violence and culture of impunity in the attacks against Filipino journalists,” Poe said in a statement. “The people are counting on the police and law enforcers to keep our streets safe — that criminals will be immediately hunted down and prosecuted,” she added.

Alicaway, 46, was on his way home on August 6 in Molave town, Zamboanga del Sur when he was shot by two motorcycle-riding gunmen. Alicaway was a radio anchor of Tigmo-Tigmo program at DXPB 106.9 (Radyo ng Bayan Molave).

He was reportedly also a village councilman of Miligan in Molave. On the other hand, Diaz, 60, was driving his motorbike near his house when shot at around 8:40 p.m. Monday in Barangay Kalanawi 2 in President Quirino, this province.

Police said Diaz, his son Cris Jay and a female relative were riding with him, but they escaped unhurt. Diaz died from multiple gunshot wounds. Diaz was a reporter of Radio Mindanao Network, columnist of Sapol Newspaper and a correspondent for Manila Bulletin.

Poe, advocate and sponsor of the Freedom of Information bill at the Senate, said journalists should be able to work freely in an environment free from danger.

“They should be able to report stories and issues relevant to the Filipinos, and we know that journalists have risen to the occasion despite the odds,” she said. Aside from the police, the senator also called on the Presidential Task Force on Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Members of the Media to act with dispatch on the cases. PNA –