The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed by yet another violent attack on a broadcaster in the Philippines and condemns the Government’s failure to end the country’s reputation as one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to work as a journalist.
Nilo Labares, of the Radio Mindanao Network station dxCC, was seriously wounded when he was shot in Cagayan de Oro, northern Mindanao, on March 5.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, reports Labares is known for hard-hitting commentary regarding various illegal activities in Cagayan de Oro.
Colleagues said Labares had received several threats before the attack, including a warning by an emissary of a “powerful personality”.
Like the NUJP, the IFJ is extremely concerned for the safety of Labares as well as other broadcasters, including Ronaldo Doong, who was targeted in an incident in Davao City on February 28.
On February 23, Ernie Rollin, of dxSY-AM, was shot dead in Oroquieta City. He was the 63rd journalist to be murdered since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took power in 2001. Four of the seven journalists murdered in the Philippines last year were radio commentators or broadcasters.
The NUJP yet again highlighted the Government’s failure to counter the culture of impunity regarding violence against media personnel in the Philippines.
“The Arroyo Government must end this long-running campaign of violence against media personnel in the Philippines,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“It must shake off its apathy and instruct local authorities - from the highest levels - to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and ensure Doong, Labares and other media personnel receive appropriate protection and support.”