Media attacks must not become the normal — Poe

Media attacks must not become the normal — Poe

By Liza Soriano

All journalists must be allowed to carry out their task of bringing out the truth without undue threats in pursuit of inclusive governance, Sen. Grace Poe said Thursday.

Speaking at the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ 48th Top-Level Conference in Tagaytay City, Poe hailed the media for exercising the “hard-won right to free speech in their day-to-day work,” which they “jealously guard and vigorously defend.”

“Unfortunately, in the course of defending press freedom, many of your comrades have fallen by the wayside,” Poe said.

“Without a doubt, the harassment and killing of journalists have compromised our collective pursuit of truth,” added Poe during the gathering that focused on prospects for reforms in broadcast regulation and press freedom.

Poe made the remark as the media industry continues to come to grips with the murder of broadcast journalist Percy Lapid, who was shot dead on his way home to air his radio program.

The investigation into the hard-hitting commentator’s killing is unraveling a web of suspects that the senator said must be pursued.

“Our authorities must not stop until they fully untangle the plot and uncover the brains behind this baleful act,” Poe stressed.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has also earlier directed authorities to continue the investigation until its conclusion.

“Every incident of murder, threat or harassment against the media should not be relegated to the already jarring statistics,” Poe said.

“Impunity stays as a serious challenge, it must not thrive and be part of the normal,” she added.

Poe also pointed out that the emergence of digital platforms has changed the media landscape.

She said that policymakers, journalists, and stakeholders are challenged to respond to the burning issues of using online platforms to responsibly inform and shape opinions while upholding the truth and exacting accountability.

“Where before it was a small corps of journalists that broke the news, today, anyone with a Facebook account or a Youtube channel has a bullhorn at his or her disposal,” said Poe.


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