Jan. 5, 2013 marked the first death anniversary of Christopher ‘Cris’ Guarin. Cris was gunned down while driving his wife and 9-year-old daughter home.
Cris was the seventh member of the press killed under the administration of President Aquino and the 150th since 1986. The list of media killings in the country has since grown, the latest addition to which is Julius Cauzo, a reporter-anchor of radio station dwJJ in Cabanatuan City.
Guarin’s daughter saw the gunman pump bullets into the former station manager of the defunct GMA Super Radyo in General Santos City. At the time of his death, Guarin was publisher of Tatak News and a blocktimer at RMN’s dxMD.
Guarin’s wife Lyn recognized her husband’s killer from a police rogue gallery of suspected guns for hire operating in the region. She said he had been tailing them several days before the murder.
Former CIDG regional chief and Task Force Guarin vice chair Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro identified the gunman as one Marvin Palabrica.
Despite the identification and subsequent filing of a murder charge against the suspect, Guarin’s killer and the mastermind behind his killing remain scot-free.
The General Santos City-South Cotabato chapter of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines expresses its dismay over the failure of police authorities to arrest the suspect and identify the mastermind behind Guarin’s killings.
We fear that Guarin’s murder will yet again be relegated to a mere dot in the growing statistics of victims of the culture of impunity that still pervades and haunts the Philippine press.
Today, we urge the Aquino administration to give justice to Guarin and the rest of our colleagues who died in the line of duty.
Only the arrest, prosecution and conviction of media murderers and their masterminds can erase the image of the country as one of the world’s deadliest places for working journalists.
—EDWIN G. ESPEJO,
National Union of Journalists
of the Philippines-Gensan/
South Cotabato Chapter,