VICE President Jejomar Binay condemned the killing of a radio broadcaster from Negros Occidental, saying that the killing of media practitioners is also “a matter of national security.”
In a statement Friday, the Vice President condemned the killing of former broadcaster Neil Jimena “in the strongest possible terms and share in the grief of his family.”
Jimena, popularly known as Lito Jimena in media circles, is the fourth journalist to be killed this year.
He asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to act swiftly and “bring those responsible to face the full brunt of the law.”
Binay is currently in the United States to attend a two-week course on national security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at the prestigious Harvard University.
“The safety of our media practitioners is also an issue of national security because it involves press freedom,” he said.
“Freedom of the press is inherent in our constitution and is a symbol of our democracy. When this is threatened, it becomes a matter of national security,” Binay added.
Formerly a human rights lawyer during the Martial Law years, the Vice President called on all Filipinos “to respect human rights and the rule of law.”
Jimena was a former asset of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and once a radio block timer in Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
On Monday, he was on his way home aboard a motorcycle when he was gunned down by still unidentified men along the highway in EB Magalona town.
He was declared dead upon arrival at the Teresita Jalandoni Memorial Provincial Hospital in Silay City.
Jimena previously escaped from a similar assassination attempt on his life also in Negros Occidental.
The PNP said that it is not ruling out the possibility of job-related angle to Jimena’s assassination. (BCVB)