The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) deplore the murder of two journalists in as many days in Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The IFJ and NUJP call for an immediate investigation, and the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.
On Sunday, August 6, Rudy Alicaway, a radio anchor with Tigmo-Tigmo program on DXPB 106.9, was shot dead by two assailants on a motorcycle on his way home. According to a police report, the assailant continued to shoot Alicaway as he tried to crawl away.
In a separate incident, on Monday, August 7, Leo Diaz, a columnist for Sapol Newspaper and a report for Radio Mindanao Network was shot leaving his house in Sultan Kudarat province. He died from multiple gunshots.
Both journalists were killed in Mindanao, which has been under martial law since May 23, 2017. Filipino President, Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law across the whole of Mindanao following violent clashes between locals and alleged IS-supporters in Marawi City.
These two killings come just a week, after Julito Orillaneda was seriously injured when he was shot in the head, face and neck as he parked his car outside his house in Marihatag in Mindanao.
NUJP secretary general, Dabet Panelo said: “The killings happened in the two provinces of Mindanao even as the whole region is under Martial Law. This again highlights the culture of impunity in the attacks against and killings of Filipino journalists that have remained unabated despite an international outcry.”
The IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “President Duterte needs to take strong action to end the killing of journalists across the Philippines. The culture of impunity needs to be broken so that press freedom can flourish. What is also concerning, is the fact that these murders took place in a region where martial law has been in place since late May, raising serious questions about the safety of the media in Mindanao.”
If these latest killings are found to be work related, that will bring the total number of journalists killed in the Philippines since 1986 to 177. According to the IFJ, the Philippines among the deadliest countries for journalists in the world, with 146 journalists killed between 1990 and 2015.
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