As the Philippines struggles to shed off the label of being the most dangerous place for journalists next to Iraq, Ronaldo Julia another media person in Bicol died of gunshot wounds in Magarao, Camarines Sur. The hideous killing occurred Friday, Aug 15, 2008, barely two weeks after radio anchorman Dennis Cuesta of Radio Mindanao Network and Martin Roxas, a commentator in Panay Island were shot dead.
A writer of the “Weekly Informer” and broadcaster of Naga and Legazpi, Ronaldo Julia was gunned down on his way home at 11 pm. He died before doctors in a nearby city hospital could treat him.
Since 2001, more than 50 journalists were murdered; another 800 civilians disappeared (desaparecidos) or died from premeditated killings. In most cases, the killers which include those from the military, remained unpunished. Despite Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s promises, the murders escalate with increasing viciousness. Exasperated citizens including journalists in local and international media condemn these. They demand justice through effective prosecution under the law. Pres. Arroyo, the Justice Department and the police must not wear a blind eye on these killings that clearly point to a deteriorating human rights record of the country. =0=