CDO journalists set march vs impunity

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/26 November) — Journalists and media workers here will take to the streets again on Monday to denounce the shooting of Bombo Radyo anchor and chief of reporters Michael James “Dacoycoy” Licuanan and to pressure the city government into putting an end to what they called the rising culture of impunity in this city.

In an interview today, Cagayan de Oro Press Club president Santiago “Bobby” Goking said that the shooting of Licuanan was an offshoot of the series of unsolved crimes in the locality.

Goking cited the shooting of then RMN anchor and chief of reporters Nilo Labares, kidnapping of businessman Manuel Boniao and the series of daylight heists on banks and gasoline stations where no suspects have been caught.

“We will not allow the shooting of Licuanan to be among the long list of unsolved crimes in the city,” said Goking.

He added that, together with the local chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, they will launch another march-rally against impunity on Monday.

“We will meet with the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce this afternoon to plan the mobilization on Monday,” he said.

Goking said that Oro Chamber president Antonio Uy is interested in joining ranks with the local media community in the fight against impunity in the city.

The COPC and NUJP Cagayan de Oro chapter yesterday formed a joint task force to pressure the “city government to exert extra effort in fighting criminality, specifically the judicious and intelligent appropriation of the city’s P68-million intelligence fund.”

“With the admission of city police director Police Senior Superintendent Gerardo Rosales that the shooting of Bombo James Dacoycoy is connected with his commentaries on the illegal drug trade in the city, we cannot understand and are disappointed with the perceived ‘lax response’ of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office,” the group’s joint statement said.

The statement added that both media organizations take the shooting of Licuanan as “a direct attack on the freedom of the press.”

Licuanan, who was shot on his way home from the radio station last Thursday evening, is the second broadcast journalist shot in the city.

On March 5, 2009, Labares was shot by two motorcycle-riding men. The suspects of the shooting, like in the case of Licuanan, wore full-face crash helmets and bonnets underneath.

In October 8 this year, NUJP held a focus group discussion with local journalists and media workers to map out risk sources in their coverage.

“In our media risk mapping, the local media practitioners identified the issue on illegal drug trade as one of the high risk coverage issues,” JB Deveza, NUJP Mindanao Media Safety Officer said in an interview today. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)