Broadcaster and Tribal Leader Shot Dead in the Southern Philippines

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists

of the Philippines (NUJP)

in condemning the murder of radio commentator Datu Roy Bagtikan Gallego in Lianga town, Surigao

del Sur province in the southern Philippines on October 14.


Gallego, also a Datu, or chieftain, of the Manobo

tribe and president of the Bayanihan Council of Datus (BACODA) Caraga Region,

was shot dead in an ambush on the national highway in Sitio Mamprasanon,

Barangay Banahaw in Lianga town.


Gallego often criticised mining operations and spoke in defence of tribal rights in

broadcasts with radio stations based in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur province, which

borders Surigao del Sur. Lianga Police

have not yet identified any suspects or a motive for the murder.


He was due this week to start a new block-time

program with 92.7 Smile FM San

Francisco, and in 2010 hosted a similar program on DxSF

San Francisco Radio. A block-time program is a paid timeslot whose hosts are

usually employed by the buyer or producer of the timeslot.  


“The IFJ urges the government of the Philippines

to enact laws consistent with the demands of our Action

Plan to end impunity in order to prevent further attacks of this nature,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“We call upon authorities to ensure this murder is

not met with impunity, regardless of the motive.”


Gallego’s death comes just seven days after the

murder of broadcaster Johnson

Pascual, who was shot dead in Isabela province in the northern Philippines

on October 7.


If his murder is related to his work as a

journalist, Gallego will be the seventh media worker to have been murdered

under the current administration of President Benigno Aquino III, and the 148th since the end of military rule in 1986.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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