The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has condemned the killing of Jobert Bercasio, the host of Balangibog TV online show in Sorsogon City on Monday evening.
According to reports, Bercasio was on board his scooter when he was gunned down by suspects riding in tandem around 7:55 p.m. in Barangay Cabid-an.
CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that this recent killing illustrates the growing trend of harassment and violence perpetrated against the country’s media workers.
“CHR strongly urges the government to act on this case to attain justice for the deceased and to ensure that further steps will be taken to ensure the safety of our journalists and media workers,” she said.
Freedom of expression, said de Guia, also covers the freedom of the press. This guarantees the right of individuals to publish or state their opinions without restraint. “It is the basic foundation of a democratic country and free media,” she explained.
Because of the continuing harassment and killings of media professionals, the CHR is concerned about the emergence of a climate of impunity in which Filipinos will have less access to much-needed information.
For its part, the CHR Regional Office V will be dispatching a team to investigate the incident and will coordinate with local authorities in order to hold the perpetrators accountable.
“The CHR also sends its condolences to the bereaved loved ones of Bercasio,” de Guia said.