Press Release
August 14, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar extends his condolences to the family and loved ones of ABC-5 news team Hazel Richeta, Arnel Guiao and Ismael Cabugayan who were killed in a road accident in Camarines Sur on Sunday (August 13).

"I know that during these difficult times, no amount of kind words can seem to lessen the sorrow that the families of Hazel, Arnel and Ismael are experiencing. But these brave journalists, like valiant soldiers, died in the exercise of their profession and sworn duties that to them is indeed something to be really proud of."

"My family and I join the bereaved families of the ABC-5 news crew members. We can offer our condolences and prayers for the eternal repose of their souls."

"I know her personally since in a number of instances, Hazel and her crew have covered or interviewed me even while I was still a congressman. I remember how persistent and inquisitive she was as a news reporter."

"I am sure their professionalism and dedication to their jobs will serve as an inspiration and example to their colleagues in the media industry. That will be the legacy that they will leave behind. They died on the job after a hard days' work."

In recognition to the risks and dangers that media people face on a daily basis, Villar is pushing for the passage of a bill (Senate Bill 790) granting special protection and additional benefits to media persons.

"The media is an important component of any freedom-loving nation, the least we can do to acknowledge their valuable contribution to our society is to ensure that they are well taken cared of as they pursue the search for information, truth, justice, and promote check and balance in their own way."

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