IFJ Condemns the Recent Murders and One Attempted Murder of Three Broadcasters in the Philippines

In a letter to the President of Philippines, the International Federation of Journalists has voiced its deep concerns over the continuing violent attacks against media workers in the Philippines. The IFJ is deeply concerned over the recent murders of Lucena broadcaster Apolinario Pobeda of dwTI-AM, and John Villanueva Jr, an announcer for Legazpi City's radio dzGB and the attempted murder against Davao City radioman Juan "Jun" Pala.


The IFJ has strongly urged the Government of the Philippines to launch a full investigation into the recent cycle of violence and to ensure the safety of all journalists and media workers in the Philippines.


Recommended action:



Send appeals:


  • Expressing deep concern over the murders of Apolinario Pobeda and John Villanueva, an and the attempted murder against Juan "Jun" Pala.

  • Urging the government of the Philippines to launch a full investigation into the murders and attempted murder and ensure that the people responsible are brought to justice.

  • Urging the government of the Philippines to ensure press freedom and safety of all journalists in the Philippines



Appeals:


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malacanang Palace

Republic of the Philippines


Via email: president@gov.ph



Please copy appeals to the IFJ Asia Office at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au


For more information contact: Jacqui Park at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au




The IFJ has protested to the Government of the Philippines in the following letter:



19 May 2003


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malacanang Palace

Republic of the Philippines


Via email: president@gov.ph



Dear President,


The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation of journalists, representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is gravely concerned about the continuing attacks against media workers in the Philippines.


According to our information, two broadcasters have been murdered in the Philippines in the last two weeks. They are: Lucena broadcaster Apolinario Pobeda of dwTI-AM, and John Villanueva Jr, an announcer for Legazpi City's radio dzGB. We also understand that Davao City radioman Juan "Jun" Pala has recently survived an attempted murder.


    We wrote to you on 22 November last year outlining the IFJ's deep concerns over the following attacks against journalists:
  • November 12: RPN-9 crew manhandled by President Security Group officer;

  • November 9: ABS-CBN cameraman assaulted by farm workers in the employee of Negros Occidental landowner;

  • November 1: Elected official of College Editors Guild of the Philippines abducted and injured by Military Intelligence Group agents;

  • October 23: Negros Oriental bureau chief harassed by military officers;

  • October 13: Visayas Daily Courier reporter chased by soldiers.



This also follow our protests over the murder of journalist and broadcaster Mr Sonny Alcantara in August 2002 and the death of broadcaster and editor Mr Edgar Damalerio in May 2002.


Clearly, this is a deadly cycle of violence against media workers in the Philippines which must cease immediately. We call on your administration to launch an urgent investigation of the highest order to prosecute those responsible for these attacks. Furthermore, we call on you to take the lead on this issue and condemn these attacks on press freedom and do all that is necessary to ensure the safety of all journalists and media workers in the Philippines.


Yours sincerely,


Christopher Warren

President, IFJ