Media Release: Philippines December 4, 2008
Philippines Most Dangerous Country in Asia-Pacific for Radio Broadcasters, Says IFJ
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands in solidarity
with its colleagues and the press freedom community of the Philippines in
demanding an explanation from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her
government’s lack of protection for journalists after another radio commentator
was murdered on December 2.
According to the National Union of Journalists
of the Philippines (NUJP),
an IFJ affiliate, Leo Luna Mila, 35, a commentator for Radyo Natin, was shot
dead by unknown gunmen at 7pm as he arrived at the radio station in Barangay
Poblacion in San Roque town, Northern Samar, in the central Philippines.
Known for his hard-hitting political commentaries,
Mila is the seventh journalist killed in 2008,
and the 62nd to be murdered under Arroyo’s seven year administration.
The death toll for journalists is the worst under any administration in the Philippines’
history, including the regime of
Of the journalists killed in the past year,
five are radio broadcasters, the NUJP reports.
Another Radyo Natin journalist Arecio Padrigao was shot dead in Misamis
Oriental by two motorcycle-riding assailants on November 17.
While welcoming reports from the NUJP
that a taskforce established by Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor had identified
and charged two suspects for Padrigao’s murder,
the IFJ strongly urges all law enforcement agencies in the Philippines to act with the same
urgency in the case of Mila.
“It is with great despair that we report the loss of another courageous
journalist in the Philippines
at the hands of murderers,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“The failure of Arroyo’s Government to show true resolve in protecting journalists
in the Philippines
is a disservice not only to the media as a pillar of democracy but to the
general public whose right to information these journalists defend.”
The IFJ joins the NUJP in
calling on President Arroyo to acknowledge the unprecedented number of murders of
journalists under her administration and to order the implementation of all
measures to prevent further such tragedies.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide