The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands the Philippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo act immediately to protect media safety, following this week’s distressing news of the murder of journalist Carmelo Palacios, and attempted murder of journalist Delfin Mallari Jr.
According to IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Palacios was found dead in St. Rosa town, Nueva Ecija province on April 17.
A field reporter for government-run Radyo ng Bayan, Palacios’ body was badly battered and he had been shot in the chin.
“This appalling murder, the 51st journalist murdered during Arroyo’s regime, is yet another tragic result of inaction from the Philippines government,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
“As the death toll continues to climb, when will Arroyo take the action desperately needed by her people, and put an end this senseless bloodshed?” Warren said.
Geary Barias, Director of Task Force Usig, an investigative unit probing killings of activists in the Philippines, believes Palacios’ hard hitting journalism and anti-crime crusading were the likely motivations for his murder, says the NUJP.
“It is disgraceful enough that journalists in the Philippines are systematically killed for simply doing their job, but the culture of impunity that has developed under Arroyo has seen these journalists’ killers walk free,” Warren said.
Radio program host, Philippine Daily Inquirer journalist and Ang Dyaryo Natin editor Delfin Mallari Jr was also shot and wounded in an ambush in Lucena City on April 18, just one day after Palacios’ murder.
Mallari’s cohost Johnny Glorioso of dzMM, who was also in the vehicle when it was ambushed but was unhurt, reportedly said there was reason to believe the attempted murder was politically motivated. Glorioso and Mallari were officers of the local NUJP chapter.
The IFJ, the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries, calls for a full investigation into the attack on Glorioso and Mallari, and for protections to be put in place to ensure another attack such as this does not occur.
“The Philippines government has allowed the situation to go on long enough. The culture of impunity must be dismantled, and Arroyo must make genuine guarantees to protect the safety and security of all media personnel,” Warren said.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries