The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern over the validity of recent figures released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) which claim the majority of cases of media murders have been solved.
According to IFJ affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), there have been 76 cases of media killings since 1986, 40 of which have occurred in the last five years, under President Macapagal-Arroyo’s government, and only 3 of the 40 have been solved.
These figures come in to direct conflict with those released by the PNP which state there were only 69 recorded murders and that of the 40 media murder cases since 2001, 30 were considered closed because the PNP had charged the suspected killers in court. However, no figures were released on how many cases saw the suspected killers actually convicted and sentenced to a prison term.
“The conflicting figures of the PNP with other independent organisations indicate that the administration is not being frank about its handling of the cases and suggests a culture of misinformation in the Philippines,” IFJ president Christopher Warren said.
The disproportionally high toll of media deaths, with three murders occurring just this year, has made the Philippines the second most dangerous country in the world for media workers.
“The lack of convictions in the spate of media killings in the Philippines highlights the authorities’ blatant disregard for journalists’ basic human rights as well as an indifference towards freedom of the press,” Warren said.
The IFJ is calling for an independent inquiry into the killings.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries