CHR steps in to investigate Cortes slay; RSF urges govt to deepen probe

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram July 28,2021 - 02:33 PM
blocktimer Cebu

Blood is splattered across the floor outside the building that houses the DYRB – Cebu Radio Station in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City. DYRB blocktimer Rey Cortes was killed by still unidentified assailants in the morning of July 22, 2021. CDN Digital Photo |  Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has stepped in to conduct their own investigation on the killing of Cebuano blocktimer Renante ‘Rey’ Cortes.

CHR spokersperson, lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia, said in a statement dated July 27, 2021 that their counterpart in Central Visayas, CHR-7, has started probing Cortes’ case.

“CHR, through its Region VII office, is now investigating the brazen killing of Renante “Rey” Cortes, a radio commentator… of the station DYRB Radyo Pilipino,” de Guia said.

The human rights body also condemned the crime, and urged investigators for a ‘swift and impartial investigation’ to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Continuous media killings and harassment cannot continue nor can it be part of the new normal in today’s society. As a democratic country, the state has the utmost responsibility to protect its citizens against harm and acts of vigilante justice. Due to the profession of the victim and possible personal conflicts in the conduct of his profession,” said de Guia.

Still unidentified gunmen killed Cortes right outside DYRB – Cebu’s station in N. Bacalso Avenue, Brgy. Mambaling, Cebu City last July 19.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has already formed a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to solve the case.

International non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also urged authorities here to conduct ‘an independent investigation’ to shed light on Cortes’ death.

“We urge the Philippine authorities to order an independent investigation that sheds all possible light on the killing of Renante Cortes,” said Daniel Bastard, RSF Asia-Pacific desk chief, in a statement issued on July 22.

“The context of this journalist’s murder (as he left the radio station), the method used by his killers and the previous attempt on his life – this very disturbing combination clearly indicates that he was targeted in a reprisal for his work. In these circumstances, any negligence in the police investigation would be seen as a denial of justice for all journalists,” he added.

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Cebu City police to form SITG on slain Cebu blocktimer

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TAGS: CCPO, CHR, CHR-7, Commission on Human Rights
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