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THE College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) on Wednesday expressed its "deepest concerns" after incoming President Rodrigo Duterte made shocking statements on media killings.
"The pronouncement made by President-elect Duterte is a faulty generalization in which he failed to understand how the intensifying culture of impunity perpetuates the killing of journalists and media workers in their line of duty," Marc Lino Abila, CEGP national President.
"It is without denial that as journalists, the job description to expose the truth behind the general scheme of things is above all else," he said.
In a press briefing on Tuesday night, Duterte made a declaration that some journalists were murdered because of corruption.
"Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch," Duterte said.
"Kaya namamatay kasi nabayaran na they take sides or nasobrahan nila ang atake," he added.
Abila said Duterte's pronouncements showed that he lacked understanding on impunity in the country.
"President-elect Duterte does not grasp the reality behind the unabashed killing of journalists which usually happens when doing their job as the harbingers of news work to expose the malfeasance and corruption plaguing the government in the local and national level," he said.
Abila cited how the outgoing Aquino administration "failed to address such atrocities and instead complained that the media have been nothing but critical of his administration."
CEGP called the attention of President-elect Duterte "to not fail on his duty to protect and uphold the constitutional guarantee to freedom of the press with his hasty generalizations and faulty rhetoric."
"He should be reminded that it is within his responsibility to address the already-worsening culture of impunity in the country," he said.
"The Guild will always stand firm in the frontline of protecting and condemning whatever suppression the campus press and professional media will suffer as this reign of impunity continues," he added.
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