The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its shock at the news that two volunteer radio announcers for Radio Ukay in Digos City narrowly escaped death after having shots fired at them.
According to IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Marlan Malnegro and Ruben Oliverio had just finished their morning program and were riding tandem on a motorcycle when the attack took place. Two unidentified men riding a motorcycle opened fire on them at 8.45am.
The gunman tried to fire a second time at the announcers but the gun jammed.
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park has urged authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly and immediately.
“The authorities must send a strong message to those who attack journalists that their actions will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences,” she said.
Three journalists have been killed so far this year in the Philippines, the latest of whom was newspaper and radio reporter Arnel Manalo who was shot dead in Batangas province, south of Manila, on July 31, 2007.
Controversial political radio commentator Rogelio Mariano was killed after completing a broadcast over Radyo Natin-Radio Aksyon.
“This fresh attack reflects the worsening situation for journalists in the Philippines,” Park said.
“More effective measures need to be implemented to protect the safety of journalists in order to achieve true freedom of the press in the Philippines.”
The IFJ supports its affiliate the NUJP in its call for the international human rights community to express their condemnation of attacks against journalists in the Philippines and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries