The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the brutal murder of a journalist in Bislig, in Mindanao in the southern Philippines on Tuesday, October 24. The IFJ and NUJP call for an immediate investigation into the murder by authorities.
On Tuesday, Christopher Iban Lozada, 29, the operations manager and broadcaster of dxBF Prime Broadcasting Network, was driving home with his girlfriend at 9pm when a gunman in the van drove up and opened fire. Lozada was killed immediately, while his girlfriend was injured and taken to hospital.
Prior to his murder, Lozada had reported receiving several death threats, which he shared on Facebook. The threats were related to his reporting and alleged involvement in filing charges against Bislig mayor, Librado Navarro, over corruption. Navarro was ordered dismissed from his post by the Office of Ombudsman last month.
The NUJP said they are investigating Lozada’s murder, and should it be deemed work related, he will be the fifth media worker killed under President Duterte, the third journalist killed in Mindanao this year.
The IFJ general secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Journalists must never be killed for their work in sharing stories of public interest. This murder is a blatant attempt to silence a critical voice. As we near the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2, we are reminded of the increasing number of journalists killed for simply doing their job. The Philippines government must take action to end the culture of impunity, for the 178 journalists killed since 1986, including the 32 journalists killed in the Ampatuan Masaacre. Eight years on and not a single person has been prosecuted.”
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