International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in calling for an immediate investigation into
the November 24 shooting of journalist Michael James Licuanan in Cagayan de
Oro, in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
Licuanan, anchor of Zona Libre, on Bombo Radyo Cagayan de Oro, was critically
wounded by a single gunshot wound at about 9:30 pm as he was nearing Cogon
Market, about a kilometer away from the radio station. Two men on a red
motorcycle, who were reportedly sighted outside the station several hours
before the shooting, followed Licuanan from the station as he returned home
from his duties anchoring his evening program.
being shot, Licuanan was able to run to a nearby fire station where he asked
for help. Licuanan was taken to the Northern Mindanao Medical
Center for treatment, and has since regained consciousness, according to media
Radyo Cagayan de Oro City Station Manager Celso Maldecir said Licuanan had been
commenting on the arrest of Sammy M. Yusop by Phillipine Drug Enforcement
Agency (PDEA 10) agents on November 22. Yusop was caught with 1.5 kilos of
methamphetamine, with a street value of PHP 20 million (roughly USD 500,000) in
a raid carried out by PDEA 10.
police and drug enforcement agents must quickly establish if Licuanan’s
shooting is related to his on-air comments regarding the drug bust in Cagayan
de Oro,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director
Jacqueline Park said.
condemns the shooting and is concerned by what appears to be an escalation of
violence against journalists in the Philippines in 2011.”
The Philippines has
for many years been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for
journalists. While only four journalists were killed in 2010, so far seven have
been killed in 2011, and attacks and threats are still widespread.
comes the day after the NUJP staged
nationwide protests as part of the inaugural International
Day to End Impunity, which marked the two-year anniversary of the Ampatuan
Town Massacre in the Philippines
on November 23, 2009.
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