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Palace, media groups condemn killing of Tawi-Tawi journalist


Malacañang and various media groups on Tuesday condemned the killing of a broadcast journalist in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi which happened a day after the observance of World Press Freedom Day.
 
Richard Nadjid, 35, acting manager of DXNN PowerMix FM in Bongao, was killed Sunday night on his way home after playing basketball in Barangay Tubig Boh. The motive for the murder was not immediately known.

He is the second journalist from Tawi-Tawi killed since 2007. Previously, production supervisor Vicente Sumalpong of the government-owned Radyo ng Bayan was also slain in the province.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Nadjid is the 27th journalist killed under the Aquino administration.

In a text message to reporters, Presidential Communications Operations head Herminio Coloma Jr. said they have ordered the Philippine National Police to go after Nadjid's killers.
 
“Kinokondena namin ang pagpaslang kay Ginoong Richard (Nadjid). Inatasan na ang PNP na alamin, dakpin at panagutin ang may kinalaman sa krimen,” Coloma said.

Not just a DJ
 
Rowena Paraan, NUJP chairperson, said they found the statement of Tawi-Tawi provincial police director Senior Supt. Joselito Salido dismissing the killing as unrelated to the victim's work disturbing, as investigators have yet to establish a motive for the killing.

She said the police officer was quoted describing the victim as "just one disc jockey, a person that plays popular music on FM radio station. He is not a journalist."
 
“For Salido's enlightenment, Nadjid was not only the station manager of DxNN Power Myx FM station in Bongao. He also handled the station's regular morning news and public affairs program,” Paraan said in a statement.
 
“That the chief of a province's police force can display not only insensitivity but, more alarming, ignorance reflects on the quality of what is supposed to be the country's main law enforcement agency and explains why media murders and human rights violations in general continue to be committed with impunity,” she added.

As of posting time, GMA News Online was still trying to reach Salido to clarify his comments.

'Erosion of press freedom'
 
Joel Sy Egco, newly elected National Press Club (NPC) president, criticized the government of President Benigno Aquino III for allegedly failing to give a strong directive to law enforcers and justice personnel to work doubly hard in addressing the problem.
 
“Acts of intimidation against mediamen are an affront to press freedom. Each death becomes part of government statistics, a main ingredient in the administration’s lip service," Egco said in a statement.

"As we mourn the passing of another brother in the profession, we warn Mr. Aquino that in the end, he will only have himself to blame for allowing media killings to become a flourishing trade under his watch,” he added.
 
Meanwhile, the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD) said the killing of Nadjid highlights the "culture of impunity" in committing crimes against journalists in the country.
 
“The irony of the latest killing should not be missed and should instead serve as a reminder that in this country where democracy and the rule of law are supposedly thriving, there is a need for continuing vigilance and resistance against the erosion of press freedom,” said Red Batario, CCJD executive director.
 
He noted that Nadjid and other members of the media in Tawi-Tawi had worked closely with the CCJD in developing strategies for ensuring democratic governance in the province.
 
“Even as we condole with his family and colleagues, we also raise our voices in rage as we call for an end to this unrelenting madness,” Batario said. — RSJ/KG/YA, GMA News
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