On slain journalist Ortega’s birthday: Campus journalists slam ‘slow pace’ of case and call for justice

AUGUST 28, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

Reference:

Christopher Pasion

National Secretary General

0927.792.1845

 

On slain journalist Ortega’s birthday

Campus journalists slam ‘slow pace’ of case and call for justice

 

On slain journalist Dr. Gerry Ortega’s birthday, campus journalists and his relatives urged the government to “speed up the proceedings in the case,” adding that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Ortega, who was shot to death in Palawan last January 24, was the 142nd victim of journalist killings since 1986. He was a vocal critic of the local government’s policies, outrightly condemning mining operations in Palawan.

“It has been seven months since Dr. Ortega’s death but the case remains far from being resolved. As in numerous cases of extrajudicial killings, the government seems to be hesitant in holding the perpetrators accountable, let alone finding them,” said Christopher Pasion, national secretary general of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the widest alliance of student publications in the country.

Pasion, along with the relatives of Ortega, spoke in an August 28 press conference and re-launch of campaign for justice in the death of the environmentalist and hard-hitting radio broadcaster. During the conference, they lighted candles on a cake for Ortega’s birthday, with the “birthday wish” being “to attain justice and jail the true perpetrators.”

Clearly, the “culture of impunity that has existed in its most vicious form” during Gloria Arroyo’s term continues to thrive under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, said Pasion. “We know for a fact that Aquino claims to put the premium on human rights and social services. However, his administration has no concrete plans or initiatives in thoroughly investigating the many cases of human rights violations,” he explained.

Ortega, like the other victims of journalist killings, only spoke against the flawed economic policies of the government, said Pasion. “Only a handful of elite and the foreign corporations have benefited from mining operations in the country. The government, however, continues to welcome these corporations with open arms and even encourages them to incessantly exploit our resources. This was what Dr. Ortega spoke against. This was what he was killed for,” he added.

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