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July 24, 2012 ·  ,


Romeo Olea,  Gerardo Ortegas  and Dennis Cuesta, murdered in defense of  truth.


June 13, 2011, in Iriga City, Philippines
Olea, a radio commentator, was shot twice in the back while riding his motorcycle to work, according to news reports that quoted police sources.
Senior Police Superintendent Victor Deona told Agence France-Presse that the killing appeared to be work-related. Olea’s wife, Raquel, said he had received recent death threats, AFP reported. She later told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she had asked her husband to back away from the harsh commentaries featured on his daily show. “But he told me that if he stopped doing exposés, nobody else will do the job,” she told the Inquirer.
Colleagues and supporters of Olea and Miguel Belen, a DWEB-FM broadcaster killed in July 2010, said the men had angered a political clan during the May 2010 local elections, the Philippine media reported. But Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor Gazmen warned reporters covering the killing not to rush to judgment about the motive or perpetrators. Although Olea had harshly criticized her administration, Gazmen condemned the shooting.
At Olea’s burial, Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte announced a 500,000 pesos (US$11,500) reward for anyone supplying information leading to the arrest of Olea’s killers. Olea is survived by his wife and two children.

Reclaiming communication for life, justice and peace (WCC via CNUA) Statement from the International Consultation on the Theme of the World Council of Churches¹ 10th Assembly: A Communication Perspective held in Busan, Korea, 22-25 May 2012 and organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), and the Korean Host Committee (KHC).
The world is a very different place from when the World Council of Churches addressed the issue of communication at the Uppsala (1968) and Vancouver (1983) Assemblies. Today, people everywhere, even children, share their stories through media platforms ¬ ranging from Internet-based social networks to the initiatives of citizen journalists ¬ that are more powerful than those available to churches, governments and media conglomerates 30 years ago. Political, economic, social, and cultural structures have been transformed by globalization and technological innovation. Yet, important elements of our context remain unchanged. Urgent questions of justice and equality need to be addressed all over the world, not least in countries suffering repression, conflict and poverty. As the World Council of Churches prepares to gather on the Korean peninsula, we are mindful of the role played by communication in deepening divisions that have lasted for generations, but also in sowing the seeds of reconciliation.
In today¹s world, despite the potential of social media, a few powerful corporations and individuals continue to decide whose voices are heard and what images are seen by the public, allowing them to shape policy, form public opinion, and move people toward war or peace. The integrity of the journalistic enterprise has been compromised by media conglomerates and challenged by new forms of media. Some media workers, journalists included, have dared to lift up the concerns of the excluded and to interpret with insight how power flows today. Communicators who discern the ebb and flow of political, economic and cultural power in a particular time and place can use their insights to denounce the abuses of the powerful and to defend the dignity of widows and orphans, outcasts and strangers. Communicators can also announce the good news of how God is working in our midst to bend human history toward justice and peace.
Communication for Life, Justice and Peace – During World War II, many women ¬ including many Koreans ¬ were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers. Euphemistically, these victims of war were known as “comfort women”. Beginning on 8 January 1992, a group of survivors gathered each week in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul asking for a formal apology from the Japanese government. When they held their one thousandth gathering on 14 December 2011, they unveiled a statue of a bare-foot girl seated on a school chair. Beside her is an empty chair that invites people to sit next to her in solidarity. As Christian communicators we are called to sit next to this little girl and be witnesses in service to life, justice and peace.

January 24, 2011, in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines
A gunman shot radio talk show host Ortega in the back of the head as the journalist was shopping in a Puerto Princesa City clothing store shortly after his morning broadcast, according to local and international news reports.
Police arrested a suspect near the scene with the help of witnesses, reports said. The suspect–named in local news reports as Marlon de Camata, but also known as Marvin Alcaraz–initially told police that the killing was robbery-related but later said that he and another man, Dennis Aranas, had a contract to kill Ortega for 150,000 pesos (US$3,370).
Police said they traced the murder weapon to a man named Romeo Seratubias, a former employee of a provincial governor whom Ortega had accused of corruption, according to local news reports. Seratubias denied involvement in the shooting and said he had sold the gun, news reports said.
On January 26, Puerto Princesa City police filed charges against de Camata, Aranas, and Seratubias, along with two others accused of helping to prepare for the attack, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Ortega, 47, had received recent death threats from an unknown source, according to The Associated Press. The journalist had criticized local officials accused of corruption and had opposed provincial mining projects, news reports said.

God of Life – What if God had not spoken? According to the Genesis account, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earthŠ” According to John¹s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word. [Š] All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” Without communication there would be no life. Creation was, and is, an act of communication. Communication was, and is, an act of creation. All living beings consist of many cells that can only survive if there is communication between them. In the traditional Eastern worldview, as well as that of many indigenous peoples, the universe is understood to be an integrated whole, an interdependent organism. This view helps us to see that communication is the essence of life and that human beings are in communication with all creation. Communication also plays a vital role in confronting threats to life. It affirms life by promoting truth-telling, fairness, participation, dialogue, openness, and inclusion. Communication that threatens life is characterized by censorship, misinformation, hate-speech, lies, and exclusion. Communication can strengthen people¹s ability to identify and respond to threats to life and can advocate for those made invisible and excluded. In a world that has enabled people of different backgrounds, religions and cultures to be more aware of each other and their inter-connectedness, communication has the potential to promote life together in faith, hope and love.

Lead us to Justice – Communicators are called to take a stand for justice. The struggle for the dignity of all women, all men, requires that communicators become effective advocates for human rights ¬ including the right to communicate ¬ as well as defenders of the integrity of all creation. Communication in the way of Jesus must promote wholeness and the common good. According to Philippians 2:7, “Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.” That means He served all people, especially taking up the cause of the poor, the suffering, the outcasts, the weak and the oppressed. Communicators for justice will empty themselves and act as servants of the Gospel ¬ even if this means challenging structures of power. Prophetic communication opens up alternative horizons that are not limited to the perspectives imposed by the dominant culture. Prophetic communication empowers individuals and communities to tell their own stories and to craft their own images and gestures. Communicators must ensure that those who have been silenced have access to the media they need in order to share their views with the larger world.

Lead us to Peace – Communication can sow understanding or misunderstanding, harmony or discord. Those who challenge injustice use communication to empower. Those who deny justice use communication to disempower. Communicators for peace seek to create images and tell stories that respect the values and traditions that lie at the heart of other people¹s lives. Such images and stories can strengthen inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding, challenge stereotypes, and promote societies that are able to live together in peace, affirming what they hold in common as well as what separates them. Communication for peace creates opportunities for people to consider and value non-violent responses to potential and actual conflict. Communication for peace reveals backgrounds and contexts, listens to all sides, exposes hidden agendas and highlights peace initiatives no matter their origin. The complexity, scale and diversity of the conflicts that exist in today¹s world means that no single news source can hope to address adequately the challenge of communicating about conflict or ways of creating sustainable peace. Opening eyes and ears to diverse sources of information and knowledge fosters the depth and breadth of understanding that allows people to make informed decisions.
Reclaiming communication – Communication rights claim spaces and resources in the public sphere for everyone to be able to engage in transparent, informed and democratic debate. They claim unfettered access to the information and knowledge essential to democracy, empowerment, responsible citizenship and mutual accountability.

August 9, 2008, in General Santos City, Philippines
Two gunmen traveling by motorcycle fired several shots at Cuesta, a program director and anchor for DXMD, an affiliate of the Radio Mindanao Network, on a public street in General Santos City on August 4, according to news reports citing police.
Cuesta sustained multiple injuries, including a gunshot wound to the head, and died in a local hospital five days later, the reports said. A companion at the scene was unhurt, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). The Associated Press quoted an official saying there were three gunmen.
Cuesta’s colleague, Mel Coronel, told AP that the journalist never recovered consciousness and died while in intensive care.
Local press freedom groups told CPJ they believe Cuesta was targeted for his reporting. Cuesta had been threatened in relation to his recent broadcasts, according to Dennievin Macaranas, a network operations manager who spoke with CPJ by telephone. The commentator had also recently applied for a firearm license and requested police protection, DPA reported. Police Superintendent Robert Po told DPA that a person involved in a land dispute had asked Cuesta to stop broadcasting critical commentaries about the case on the public affairs show he hosted.
A police officer was identified as one of the suspects in February 2009, but a judge later revoked the arrest warrant and archived the case, saying the suspect couldn’t be found.

They claim political, social and cultural environments that encourage the free exchange of a diversity of creative ideas, knowledge and cultural products. Finally, communication rights insist on the need to ensure a diversity of cultural identities that together enhance and enrich the common good. Communication for life, justice and peace affirms the centrality of communication rights to mass, community and social media and to restoring voice and visibility to vulnerable, disadvantaged and excluded people in a spirit of genuine solidarity, hope and love. God of life, in your grace, lead us to communicate justice and peace.
Call for Action – In order to be effective communicators in today¹s world and to give due recognition and support to church communication workers, secularmedia professionals and citizen journalists, we call on the churches and their partners:
To become communicators for life, justice and peace throughout the world and especially in the context of the peaceful reunification of Korea.
To advocate communication rights for all.

To train people both within the church and secular society to communicate responsibly and with integrity and to understand how media are created and consumed in a globalized world.
To reflect on their own ways of communicating internally and externally.
To advance media literacy, communication for participatory development, media and gender justice, and to develop contextualizedtoolkits on how to communicate effectively.
To integrate the study of communication for life, justice and peace into theological training.
The organizers would like to express their appreciation to the Korean Host Committee for the WCC 10th Assembly, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Republic of Korea, Busan Presbyterian University, Sansung Presbyterian Church (Busan), Youngdo-Jungang Presbyterian Church (Busan) and the Dongshin Presbyterian Church (Busan). – Forwarded by Samson Aseervatham by email : ,


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