CCPC calls for thorough investigation on Rey Cortes killing
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) is calling for a swift and thorough investigation in the killing of dyRB blocktimer Renante ‘Rey’ Cortes.
CCPC, in a statement issued on Thursday, July 22, condemned the brazen killing of Cortes, calling it a ‘heinous and sensational crime’.
“Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) requests the police to investigate thoroughly and speedily the killing of dyRB broadcaster Reynante “Rey” Cortes who hosted the commentary program “Engkwentro” on dyRB in Cebu City,” said lawyer Pachico Seares, executive director of CCPC.
Seares said the death of another member of the media ‘could heighten the state of impunity that various sectors of society, not just the press, fear and condemn’.
“CCPC worries about how another unsolved murder of a media worker could heighten the state of impunity that various sectors of society, not just the press, fear and condemn. If a media worker’s life could be easily snuffed out, violence could replace democracy’s regular means of discourse,” said Seares.
“Whether he was a regular staff member or block-timer of dyRB does not change this fact: He was a media practitioner whose killers should be arrested and prosecuted,” he added.
The CCPC’s tally showed that from 2016 to May 1, 2021, a total of 223 cases of attacks and threats targeting members of the media have been recorded.
Cortes was killed outside the dyRB – Cebu’s radio station in N. Bacalso Avenue, Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City at around 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Local police are looking into the slain blocktimer’s occupation, and personal background, for possible motives of the crime.
The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) also earlier announced they would be forming a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to solve the case, which Seares said was just appropriate.
“The case requires an investigation by an SITG or Special Investigation Task Group. Media practitioners are included in the same category as vice governors, PB members, mayors, vice mayors, councilors, barangay captains and councilors, judges, prosecutors and lawyers, and militants,” he said.
“Media workers are not special people and do not expect special treatment. The local community of journalists will be content with diligent crime investigation that, sadly, people had not seen applied to similar cases of violence against media workers and other high-profile personalities. An SITG inquiry may help cut down public skepticism,” he added.
According to initial reports, Cortes sustained gunshot wounds on his chest and on his shoulder. Still unidentified assailants shot him while he was about to board his sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was parked right outside dyRB Cebu’s station in Mambaling.
Police are still getting information to help them identify possible suspects behind the killing.
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