Arroyo to PNP: Help stop political killings
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 11:52:00 03/26/2009
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed on Thursday the Philippine National Police (PNP) to bring political killings to zero in the face of criticism from the international community.
“There are still challenges we have to address. We must bring political killings to zero, including assassinations of government officials and media personalities,” Arroyo said in a speech during graduation rites at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang town, Cavite province on Thursday.
Arroyo also ordered PNP Chief Director General Jesus Verzosa to provide police protection to Davao-based radio journalist Elgin Damasco and investigate the threats sent to him through text messaging.
The European Parliament and the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recently expressed concern over the spate of killings of journalists and political activists in the country.
Reacting to Arroyo’s directive, Verzosa said that the PNP would be setting up Task Force Usig in each region that would look into the attacks against journalists.
These regional special task force units would be coordinating with the main unit of Task Force Usig, headed by Director Raul Bacalzo, Verzosa said in an interview after the graduation ceremonies of the Philippine National Police academy Kaisang-Bisig class here. With additional reports from Abigail Kwok, INQUIRER.net.
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