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MANILA, Philippines – The relatives of slain journalist Christopher Guarin said they expect more action from the Aquino government in bringing to justice the killers, one year after incident.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also said there should be no let-up in government action to hunt down the gunmen and the mastermind to send the signal that it was serious in solving crimes.
“We fear that Guarin’s murder will yet again be relegated to mere dot in the growing statistics of victims of the culture of impunity that still pervades and haunts the Philippine press,” Edwin Espejo, president of the NUJP-General Santos/South Cotabato chapter, said in a statement.
“Today, we urge the Aquino government to give justice to Guarin’s killing and rest of our slain colleagues who died in the line of duty.
"Only the arrest, prosecution and conviction of media murderers and their masterminds can erase the image of the country as one of the world’s deadliest places for the working journalists,” Espejo added.
Guarin was gunned down while in the company of his wife and nine-year-old daughter as he was driving home.
He was the seventh member of the press killed under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, and the 150th victim since 1986, the NUJP said.
Guarin was publisher of Tatak News and a blocktimer at Radio Mindanao Network’s dxMD. He was former station manager of the defunct GMA Super Radyo in General Santos City.
According to NUJP, Guarin’s wife Lyn had recognized her husband’s killer from a police rogue gallery of suspected guns for hire operating in the region who, she said, had been tailing them several days before the murder.
In a photo line-up she was able to identify the gunman whom former CIDG regional chief and Task Force Guarin vice chair Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro identified as one Marvin Palabrica.
Despite the identification and subsequent filing of a murder charge against the suspect, Guarin’s killer and the mastermind behind his killing remain scot-free.
The NUJP-General Santos City-South Cotabato chapter has expressed dismay over the failure of police authorities to arrest the suspect and identify the mastermind behind Guarin’s killings.