IFJ Condemns Murder of Journalist in the Philippines

In a letter to the President of Philippines, the IFJ has voiced its deep concerns over the continuing violent attacks against media workers in the Philippines.


The IFJ has strongly urged the Government of the Philippines to launch a full investigation into the murder of journalist Bonifacio Gregorio and to ensure the safety of all journalists and media workers in the Philippines.


The IFJ has protested to the Government of the Philippines in the following letter:



18 July 2003



President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malacanang Palace

Republic of the Philippines


Via email: president@gov.ph



Dear President,


The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation of journalists, representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is gravely concerned about the continuing murders and violent attacks against media workers in the Philippines.


According to our information, Bonifacio Gregorio, who worked for weekly Dyaryo Banat, was shot dead in front of his house in La Paz, Tarlac on 8 July. The journalist was known for his critical articles of La Paz mayor Dionisio Manuel.


We understand this is the third journalist to be killed in the Philippines this year. Gregorio's death is preceded by the deaths of Lucena broadcaster Apolinario Pobeda of dwTI-AM, and John Villanueva Jr, an announcer for Legazpi City's radio dzGB.


These deaths follow the murder of journalist and broadcaster Mr Sonny Alcantara in August 2002 and the death of broadcaster and editor Mr Edgar Damalerio in May 2002.


We have written to you separately about these murders and other attacks on journalists and media workers over the past months. Clearly, more needs to be done to ensure that this deadly cycle of violence against media in the Philippines is stopped.


We again call on your Government to launch full investigations to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice. Further, we call on you to ensure that journalists and media workers in the Philippines can carry out their work without fear or persecution, and in a climate of safety and press freedom.


Yours sincerely,


Christopher Warren

President, IFJ



Recommended action:


Send appeals:

* Expressing deep concern over the murder of Bonifacio Gregorio.

* Urging the government of the Philippines to launch a full investigation into the murder and ensure that the people responsible are brought to justice.

* Urging the government of the Philippines to ensure press freedom and safety of all journalists in the Philippines


Appeals:


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malacanang Palace

Republic of the Philippines


Via email: president@gov.ph