Senator Loren Legarda today denounced the killing of a female broadcaster in Malabon, stressing that if the motive behind the crime was work-related, then Congress has to fast track the passing of the bill qualifying as murder the killing of members of media in the performance of their duties.
Len Flores Sumera, a radio anchor of dzME, was shot dead on Thursday morning while on her way to work. Authorities have yet to determine the motive behind the killing.
"It is lamentable that another journalist had to die brutally. I condemn in the strongest sense this reckless act of violence committed against a media practitioner. Whether or not the crime was related to her work as a broadcaster, such cruel acts must be condemned and authorities must make sure that perpetrators are caught and penalized," Legarda said.
The Senator added that if it is proven that the purpose of the killing is related to Sumera's duty as a radio anchor, then the protection of journalists and members of media must really be strengthened.
Senate Bill No. 1426, authored by Legarda, which seeks to amend Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code to qualify the killing of members of broadcast and print media in the performance of their duties as a crime of murder, is currently pending at the Senate plenary under Committee Report No. 9 which she also co-sponsored.
"This measure will help protect the members of the media while in the lawful exercise of their functions. We are hopeful that when this bill becomes a law, there will be less crimes against journalists who are the messengers of news and seekers of truth," Legarda concluded.