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PIA Press Release
2008/02/12

NPC, DOJ sign MOA on monitoring of media killings

By Miriam P. Aquino

San Fernando City, La Union (12 February) -- The National Press Club (NPC) president Roy Mabasa recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Justice (DOJ)'s Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor - Task Force 211 head, on the monitoring of cases which involves slay of media personalities.

Task Force (TF) 211 is the working group task to look / monitor on extra-judicial killings (EJK). Through the "Bantay Katarungan" program of the task force, the NPC received the exclusive right to monitor cases of killed newsmen.

The impending media cases which are now under the NPC monitoring include the gun slays of Fernando Batul, formerly of Puerto Princesa Radio, Apolinario "Poly" Pobeda, DWI-AM anchor, Dennis Ramos, Remate/Kabayan reporter, Rolando Ureta, DYKR commentator, Rolly Canete, a block-timer radio announcer, Klein Cantoneros, another block-timer, Elpidio "Ely" Binoya, MBC-DZRH station manager, Alberto Martinez, radio commentator of "Radio Natin", Philip Agustin, Starline Times Recorder and Endrinal Roel, broadcaster and publisher of Metro News and DZRC.

Blancaflor said that under the MOA, the task to monitor status of killed media cases has been turned over to NPC but still the TF is obligated to provide all the necessary assistance and share information and documents regarding cases identified and validated as involving political violence or extra-judicial killings.

He added that the TF will also provide volunteers with the case numbers, names of parties involved, nature and background of the cases, prosecution office or court where the case is being held or tried, schedule of hearings and specific stage of prosecution.

Under the agreement, reasonable compensation and safety of accredited volunteers/individuals while attending to their tasks is ensured.

On the other hand, the primary role of the NPC is to ensure that all accredited volunteers are focusing on the cases assigned to them by personally attending hearings of cases being monitored, to apprise themselves of the hearings, record incidents/details that may transpire in their assigned cases and that they comply with the policies set up by the Task Force.

With the joint effort the NPC and the Task Force is willing to share, it is expected that these cases would reach a successful / positive conclusion. (PIA La Union) [top]

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