The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed by the overwhelming number of journalists being murdered in the Philippines after a broadcaster was shot dead on July 18 by unknown assailants in the southern city of Digos.
Armando “Racman" Pace, 51, of Radyo Ukay Digos was reportedly shot on his way home by two motorcycle-riding assassins.
“This brings the Philippines atrocious record for journalist safety to a new low, less than a month after the shocking murder of journalist husband and wife team George and Macel Alave Vigo,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
According to IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) this latest murder brings the total to 82 journalists murdered since the Philippines regained democracy in 1986, and to eight journalists murdered just this year.
“The frightening aspect of these statistics is that despite being a democracy, the situation for press freedom and the safety of journalists in the Philippines seems to be deteriorating steadily, with no indication that anything is being done to protect the lives of media workers,” Warren said.
The police have reportedly formed a task force, “Pace", to locate the suspects and determine the motive for the killing.
“The IFJ calls for a full investigation into whether Pace’s murder was linked to his work as a journalist, and demands the perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice quickly and satisfactorily,” Warren said.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 120 countries