Herbie Gomez .
IT’S alarming that another broadcaster was murdered this week.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Eduardo “Ed” Dizon of Brigada News FM in Kidapawan City was ambushed by two motorcycle-riding men while he was driving his car.
The police chief of Kidapawan City, Lt. Col. Maria Joyce Birrey, was quoted as saying that Dizon died of at least five gunshot wounds inside the car he was driving.
According to NUJP, initial investigation showed that Dizon was driving towards Makilala town in North Cotabato when he was attacked near a school on Quezon Boulevard in Kidapawan at around 10:35 pm Wednesday. He had just concluded his radio program, called it a day, and was on his way home.
Note that the victim had also ventured into politics – he had been unsuccessful in his quest to win a seat in the Makilala town council. Apparently, his political ambition had cost him his position as radio station manager soon after he filed his certificate of candidacy last year.
The murder then could be partisan politics-related although it could also be an offshoot of anything. Or it could be due to Dizon’s media work. If the murder was work-related, Dizon would be, based on NUJP’s count, the 186th in the growing list of media workers killed in this country since 1986, and the 13th since President Duterte took over three years ago.
Whatever the reason is, media- or politics-related, there is no justification for this cold-blooded murder. No citizen of this country, and no human being for that matter, deserves to be murdered for speaking his mind regardless of his motivations and even if others disagree with what he says.
Our eyes roll when we hear or read bad ideas. We will be within our rights to frown over and even mock terrible ideas. We should challenge and do our best to demolish terrible and disgusting ideas even when it means putting their peddlers to shame. That’s how it should be, and those who value civil liberties should make it a point to keep it that way.
In the marketplace of ideas, there will always be good, bad and ugly viewpoints. In this same marketplace, good ideas should kill terrible ideas. But if we allow bullets to kill people because of their ideas, then that is no longer civil society but the Wild, Wild West. And the moment society turns a blind eye to murders such as this or, worse, declares these as justified is the day we backslide into the age when those who held unpopular views were branded as heretics or witches deserving of the most cruel methods of capital punishment. Pastilan.