Palace vows to end media killings

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MALACAÑANG on Sunday said it will work to put an end to the senseless killing of journalists in the country, which has placed an ugly tag on the Philippines as one of the most dangerous places for media men in the world.

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Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, in an interview, said President Rodrigo Duterte could sign this week an administrative order (AO) forming the Presidential Task Force Against Media Killings.

The “superbody,” Andanar explained, will cover cold cases of slain media men all over the country. So far, more than 170 journalists have been slain in the country since 1986.

The task force will also work to achieve “zero” deaths of media men while attending to previous cases, he said.

Andanar added that the expected signing of the AO would be “a very positive direction for us to be able to investigate, to be able to seek justice for those who have been victims of extrajudicial media killings.”

The draft order, he said, had been reviewed by Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and lawyers from the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Secretary.

“We will advise, we will recommend to the President that the past cases should be reviewed,” the Palace official added.

JOEL M. SY EGCO

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