The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines mourns the death of former colleague Mei Magsino and joins demands for authorities to arrest and prosecute not only the gunman who killed her but the mastermind who ordered the assassination.
Mei’s murder not only highlights the fact that leaving journalism is no guarantee of safety from the perils of the profession — especially not from those with long memories and deadly intent — it also underscores the depths to which the culture of impunity has become entrenched in our country and society, courtesy of a government that has shown only the most cursory regard for human rights.
Especially since, as report after report shows, agents of the State have and continue to violate human rights with impunity, with government turning a blind eye or, in some cases, actually justifying, these depredations.
If subsequent details reveal her death involved her former work as a journalist, Mei will be the second fallen colleague this year, the 26th under President Benigno Aquino III, and the 166th since democracy was supposedly restored in 1986.
But even if it had nothing to do with her former work, her death would not be less heinous.
For this, and for thousands of other reasons, the state is and should be held accountable for Mei’s death and those of all other victims of extrajudicial executions in the country.