Filipino journalist gunned down on way to work

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the murder of a Filipino journalist on the central island of Luzon today and has called on authorities to swiftly investigate the circumstances leading to her death. Nerlita Ledesma, a 48-year-old journalist with the Bataan tabloid, Abante was waiting for a ride to work when she was shot four times in chest in Barangay Tuyo in Bataan.

The assailant, wearing sunglasses, a bonnet and a jacket fled the scene on a black and white motorcycle and currently remains at large.

Ledesma is the first journalist to be killed in the Asia-Pacific region in 2015. It is yet to be determined if her murder was related to her work.

The IFJ released its full list of journalists and media workers killed in 2014 on December 31. The Asia-Pacific region was declared to be the most deadly environment for media workers globally.

The IFJ Asia Pacific acting director, Jane Worthington, said: “The Philippines needs to take strong and immediate action to curb the shocking culture of violence against journalists and the climate of impunity that continues to weaken the state and democracy.”

On November 23, 2014 the nation marked the fifth anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre in which 58 people were killed, including 32 journalists. Not a single killer has yet been found guilty.

In 2014, four journalists were murdered in the Philippines.

“Nerlita Ledesma’s death is shocking and disturbing and marks a tragic beginning for the year for the country’s media. The IFJ offers its sympathies to her families and calls on the Philippine authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and bring those responsible to justice.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

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