The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Government of the Philippines to take action to protect journalists after a second attempted murder in two weeks.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, a gunman tried to kill Radyo Ukay journalist Ronaldo Doong in Davao City on February 28. Doong escaped death when his attacker’s gun failed to fire.
The attacker, threatening Doong he would face more harm if he did not stop broadcasting, then kicked the broadcaster’s motorcycle, causing him and his passenger to fall to the ground, the NUJP said.
In a statement on March 1, the NUJP noted that murders of broadcast journalists continue without major official intervention, and it demanded the Government provide greater support.
“This administration’s silence and inaction are, at best, an appalling apathy to the violation of our rights and those of the public we serve and, at worst, a silent approval of the ultimate form of censorship,” the NUJP said.
The attack on Doong occurred hours before the funeral of dxSY-AM journalist Ernie Rollin, who was shot dead in a similar attack in Oroquieta City on February 23.
Police admit they are yet to find leads to Rollin’s murder, the NUJP reports.
Rollins is the first journalist to be killed in the Philippines in 2009 and the 63rd since President. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001.
Seven journalists were murdered in the Philippines in 2008, four of whom were radio commentators or broadcasters known for their investigative and hard-hitting reporting.
“Now is the time for the Philippine Government to demonstrate its condemnation of the wave of violence against journalists by locating and capturing Doong’s attacker before another potentially fatal incident occurs,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“Doong is in serious danger. If the Government does not respond promptly by providing protection to Doong, among others, it will be sending a message to the attackers of journalists that it indirectly consents to violence against journalists.”
The IFJ joins the NUJP in reminding the Government of the Philippines of its responsibility to protect all citizens under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide