Authorities Must Clarify Motive for Media Worker’s Murder in the Philippines

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the murder of Brigada News Circulation Manager Alfredo “Dodong” Velarde Jr on

November 11.

 

Velarde,

42, was shot dead at about 3:50 a.m. by unidentified assailants while entering

the Brigada News compound in General

Santos City, Mindanao, in the southern Philippines. Police are reviewing

closed-circuit television footage of the incident, though the shooting itself

was not on camera, the Philippine

Daily Inquirer reports.

 

Police are

yet to establish the motive for Velarde’s murder. Ernie Gabonada, station

manager of Brigada News stablemate DXYM

Brigada News FM, has suggested the murder could relate to a number of personal disputes

Velarde was involved in.

 

“The IFJ

is deeply concerned by the increase in attacks on media professionals in the Philippines in

2011,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.

 

“We call

upon President Benigno Aquino III to honour his pre-election commitment to

defend press freedom in the Philippines,

by seeing that all media workers’ murders are investigated and punished

quickly, irrespective of potential motives.”

 

Velarde is

the seventh media worker to have been killed in the Philippines so far this year. In

2010, four media workers were killed in the Philippines.

 

His death

comes less than two weeks before the second anniversary of the Ampatuan Town

Massacre on November 23, 2009, in which 32 media workers were killed in a

massacre of 58 people. Fourteen of the media workers killed in the massacre

were from General

Santos City.

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the

IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific