Duterte creates panel to probe media slays

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President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of a task force that will investigate the killing of journalists, Malacañang said Saturday.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said an administrative order is being drafted by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea “to define the parameters of the Presidential Task Force.”

“Media violence and killing must end. The President has already ordered the creation of a Task Force on Media Killings,” Andanar said in a statement.

“We hope to submit it to the desk of the President before his State of the Nation Address [on July 25],” he added.

Andanar made the announcement after Apolinario Suan, a broadcaster and an elected board member of Surigao del Sur, survived an ambush. The attack was the second incident of media violence under the Duterte administration.

Suan, an anchorman of Real FM, was on his way home after hosting a radio program when he and his escorts were fired upon along the national highway in Barangay San Vicente in Bislig City.

Suan was shot in the arm and leg. However, one of his escorts, Dodong Suan, was killed.

“I sympathize with the family of the victim and urge local police to speed up its investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Andanar said.

More than 30 journalists have been assassinated during the Aquino administration, according to the National Press Club.

In 2006, the Arroyo administration created Task Force Usig to investigate the kiling of media personalities and activists.

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