Philippines Authorities Urged to Act on Radio Anchor’s Death

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in calling on authorities in the Philippines to promptly investigate the murder of radio anchor Maria Len Flores Somera on March 24.


Somera, an anchor with dzME radio station, was shot dead near her home in Malabon, a district of Manila. Somera was on her way to host her daily program Arangkada Kinse when she was ambushed by a man at around 9:45am, according to local media reports. Other reports claim two men were involved in the attack. Somera, 44, was rushed to the Valenzuela General Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.


While she was known for her on-air criticism of local officials, it is still unclear whether her death is related to her work or an alleged land dispute she was involved in as president of theSilenian Homeowners Association, according to the PhilippineInquirer.


The IFJ implores authorities in the Philippines to bring those responsible for Somera’s murder to justice, and break the cycle of violenceand impunity that has plagued the country for so long,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“We welcome the establishment of a Special Investigation Task Group to investigate her murder and hope that police and the judiciary see that her death does not go unpunished.”


The Philippines is among the most dangerous countries in the world for media personnel. The IFJ issued an Action Plan to President Benigno Aquino III upon his inauguration on June 30, 2010 calling on his government to end the culture of impunity that has seen 144 media workers killed since the return of civilian rule in 1986.


Somera is the third journalist killed in 2010, following Palawan’s Gerardo Ortega and Abra’s Cirilo Gallardo. If proven to be work-related, her murder would be the fourth under President Aquino. She is survived by her husband and three children.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide


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