Friday, March 25, 2011
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 26, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda condemned the killing of Len Flores Sumera, 45 years old, a female broadcaster in Malabon and a radio anchor of DZME who was shot to death last Thursday morning while on her way to work.
Legarda stressed that if the motive behind the crime was work-related, then the Congress has to fast track the passing of the bill qualifying as murder the killing of members of media in the performance of their duties.
“The authorities have yet to determine the motive behind the killing,” she lamented, saying that another journalist had to die in brutal killing.
Legarda denounced in the strongest sense in this reckless act of violence committed against a media practitioner explaining that whether or not the crime was related to her work as a broadcaster, such cruel act must be condemned and authorities must make sure that perpetrators are caught and penalized.
She furthered that the protection of journalists and members of media must really be strengthened. “If it is proven that the purpose of the killing is related to Sumera’s duty as a radio anchor, there is a need to pass her authored bill in the senate to give teeth in the law regarding media killings in the country.
The Senator who authored senate bill no. 1426 seeks to amend Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code to qualify the killing of members of broadcast and print media in the performance of their duties as a crime of murder, is currently pending at the Senate plenary under Committee Report No. 9 which she also co-sponsored.
She said that the bill will help to protect the members of the media while in the lawful exercise of their functions and hopefully when it becomes a law, crimes against journalists will be lessened.
Prior to this, Sumera was on her way to Manila based DZME radio station when a gunman shot her in the neck. The victim hosted her public service program “Arangkada Kinse Trenta (full speed Ahead 1530) with DZME reporter Ed Sarto. Sumera is the 3rd broadcaster killed in line of duty under the President Aquino administration.
Historically, records from the center for media freedom and responsibility showed that 119 of the 179 cases of journalists or media practitioner killed in the country were work related. (Jason de Asis)
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