Toll of Media Workers Killed in Massacre Rises as Attacks Continue in the Philippines

 

Another

media worker has been confirmed to be among the 58 victims of the Maguindanao

massacre in the Philippines

on November 23, according to information received by the International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

 

Confirmation

that the body of Saksi News photographer

Jepon Cadagdagon, 28, was among those killed brings the toll of media personnel

killed in the massacre to 32.

 

The toll

includes 31 journalists and media workers whose bodies were recovered,

including Cadagdagon, as well as Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay who remains missing, according

to the National Union of Journalists of the

Philippines (NUJP),

an IFJ affiliate.

 

The news

came as the Philippines

media community continues to contend with attacks and intimidation.

 

On January

13, broadcast journalist Albert Loyola was reportedly assaulted by Iligan City

Councilor Chonilo Ruiz while conducting a radio show on dxRJ station in Santa

Felomina, Iligan City.

 

It is

believed Ruiz was angry about a report by Loyola about the local city council budget,

for which Ruiz is responsible. Loyola’s report referred to allegations that Ruiz

had falsely claimed funds allocated to community services for his meals during

public hearings.

 

The assault,

which occurred during a live broadcast, was audible to listeners and was

recorded by the station.

 

Meanwhile,

on January 12, GMA-7 network cameraman Cirilo Renduque and reporter Fabienne

Paderes were denied access to Iloilo

City’s airport tarmac to report

on the arrival of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because Renduque was said

to be wearing inappropriate clothing.

 

The NUJP reports that Renduque, who was wearing a shirt that

said “Stop Killing Journalists” and which listed the names of media personnel killed

in Maguindanao, was told by security officials he would not be allowed to take

footage of the event unless he changed his shirt.

 

“The violence

and intimidation directed against the Philippines media community is

unfathomable,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The Philippines

Government must reverse its failure to protect the professional rights and

lives of media workers.”

 

An international solidarity mission report, prepared

by international press freedom organisations that visited the Philippines in December to

investigate the Maguindanao massacre, will be released shortly.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 125 countries worldwide