IFJ Outraged by Murder of Witness to Philippines Journalists Massacre


The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the

Philippines (NUJP) in expressing its outrage at the murder of yet another

witness to the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan

massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, in the

southern Philippines island of Mindanao.


Lawyer Nena Santos, who

represents the family of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, who lost his

wife, sister and other relatives in the carnage that also claimed the lives of

32 media workers, said the brutalized body of witness Esmail Enog had been

found in Mamasapano town, two months after he had gone missing.


His murder comes two years

after that of another key witness, Suwaib Upham.


Relatives of witnesses have

also reported being been attacked, threatened, offered bribes and harassed.


Enog, a brother of Rakim Amil,

one of the 100 massacre suspects who have been arrested and detained, had

testified that he drove 36 of the accused, four of whom he identified, to the

massacre site in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman.


Reports say he returned to

Maguindanao after testifying, having refused to be enrolled in the government’s

witness protection program.


“To ensure a fair and just

trial of those charged with the Ampatuan massacre, it is crucial that the

Philippines government protect the safety of all witnesses and their families”,

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqui Park said.


“The IFJ joins the NUJP in

demanding that Philippines President Benigno Aquino III order a full

investigation into Enog's murder, and the reasons for the failure to ensure his



“We further support NUJP’s demands

that President Aquino order the state’s security and law enforcement agencies

to arrest all the remaining massacre suspects who remain at large.”



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