Baguio media train on extra-judicial killings

BAGUIO CITY — At least twenty-five journalists based in this city participated in a training to help them understand extra-judicial killings and hone their skills on reporting this kind of incidence.

Photo courtesy of Noel Godinez

Co-sponsored by the Benguet Press Corp (BPC) and the local chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the training was held at the Hotel Supreme here on Monday.

Dubbed as Reporting on Extra-judicial Killings, it is part of a training series on human rights reporting, said resource person Rowena Paraan, NUJP national treasurer and research head of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

Extra-judicial killing is the deliberate and unjustified execution of a person perpetrated by persons whose actions are supported by the state or some other official authority but who are acting outside the legal system, shared Paraan to the practicing journalists.

“These killings frequently have political motivation,” she said adding it is sometimes referred to as political killings.

EJK is incurred where the government or its agents are directly responsible for committing EJK or where the government has not done everything within its power to prevent the killings carried out by others, Paraan pointed by citing Ibarra M. Guitierez III, the director of the Human Rights of the University of the Philippines Law Center.

EJK involves violation of the right to life as well as procedural safeguards and substantial rights related to criminal prosecutions, like presumptions of innocence, speedy and impartial trial, again pointed out Paraan citing Guitierez III.

In the afternoon workshops, participants identified various factors that help or hinder the coverage of extra-judicial killings and the various sources for extra-judicial reports.

Among the hindrance in reporting extra-judicial killings identified by participants were non-cooperation of victims’ families and witnesses, editorial policies that make EJK as less interesting, subjudice or when an EJK case is under judicial deliberation, among others.

The participants were able to systematize tactics in addressing the identified barriers in the workshop reports.

The taking and identifying data on ante-mortem, post mortem, and the patterns and trends of EJK cases were also learned in the training which equipped media practitioners of knowledge and skills on the particularity and nature of the case.

A possible future endeavor identified by the participants with Paraan would be a training on indigenous peoples’ rights to land and self-determination to help hone the skills and understanding of media practitioners in reporting indigenous peoples’ issues.

Three representatives of the CEGP Cordillera and Ilocos regions also joined the participating journalists.

The activity was sponsored by the International War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), NUJP, Minda News, and the Center Community Journalism and Development (CCJD). # Arthur L. Allad-iw(NorDis)


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