CDO media, police set dialogue

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/14 December)—Shortly before the lapse of the 30-day deadline given by media groups, church leaders and civil society organizations for local police authorities to “pinpoint and bring to the bar of justice the (gunmen and) mastermind/s of the slay try” of broadcaster Michael James “Bombo James” Licuanan, a dialogue has been set to iron out a proper communication channel.

The dialogue, which will be held at the Archbishop’s House and scheduled at 2 p.m. Friday, will be facilitated by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, and co-sponsored by the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro under its Peace and Justice Program and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

In a copy of their invitation to city police director Senior Supt. Gerardo Rosales and regional police director Chief Supt. Jufel Adriatico, NUJP-Mindanao Safety Officer JB Deveza said that the dialogue aims to open a line of communication between media and the police.

Deveza said there has been no formal dialogue with the local police authorities since the shooting of Licuanan on November 24.

Last week, the PNP Press Corps called for a press conference on the updates of the Dacoycoy murder attempt. However, some media leaders were dismayed as this was held together with their Christmas party.

Some journalists and media workers opted not to attend the gathering saying it should not have been held together with a social event. The Cagayan de Oro Press Club, for its part, did not participate as an organization, although some of its members opted to attend.

Church, media and civil society leaders signed a manifesto “calling for an end to the rising culture of impunity in the city” during the culmination ceremonies of the Mindanao Week of Peace on November 30.

The manifesto called for the relief of Rosales and Adriatico should the police fail to comply with demands “reasonably” for “lack of confidence.”

The manifesto also decried the “spate of drug-related crimes, kidnappings, daylight robberies, kidnappings and other illegal activities that have remained unresolved and unchecked,” which has “emboldened criminals to commit crimes in the city without fear of punishment.”

Among the signatories were Archbishop Ledesma and other religious leaders, Balay Mindanaw, Young Moro Professional Network, Gabriela and other civil society groups.

But Rosales belittled the manifesto in his radio interviews.

On December 5, the police officer was quoted in a daily newspaper as saying: “Yung mga media lang naman ang nanawagan hindi yung mga tao. Tingnan naman ninyo ang ginawa ng mga pulis…We have done our best. We are not Superman. Gusto ba nila kung nasaan ang media susundan namin?” (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)