Call to Duterte: Tell all you know about Jun Pala murder
President Duterte should enlighten the public about the true circumstances surrounding the 2003 murder of Davao City broadcaster Juan “Jun” Pala.
Although it happened more than a decade ago, the case is yet to be solved, “sleeping” in the pile of statistics of unsolved media murders that have contributed to the nurturing of the culture of impunity in the country he now leads as its highest and most powerful public official.
Pala’s murder has been thrust again into the public consciousness by the testimony of a self-confessed former member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, Edgar Matobato.
Matobato claimed that based on what he knew, Duterte, who was then Davao City mayor, ordered Pala killed for always criticizing him over the radio. This gives a new twist to what the public knows about the incident.
The last time he spoke about the murder of Pala, then president-elect Duterte said the controversial broadcaster had his death coming by hurting so many people through his bombastic radio commentaries. At that time, Mr. Duterte hinted that he knew who could be the likely perpetrator of the attack on Pala whom he described as an unethical and corrupt broadcast practitioner.
The closure of the Pala murder case or, for that matter, any other case of journalist killing, will send a strong signal that the Duterte administration is serious in removing the black mark of impunity on the image of the Philippines as a democratic society.
Hence, our call for President Duterte to set the record straight on what he knew about the Pala murder, in the interest of truth and justice.
—DABET PANELO, secretary general, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, [email protected]
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