The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has today called for the Philippines Government to investigate the murder of journalist Eldy Gabinales and to halt the growing journalist death toll.
According to information provided by the IFJ affiliate, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP), radio commentator Eldy Gabinales, also known as Eldy Sablas, was killed today, 19 October 2004 in Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
An unidentified assailant shot Gabinales three times from behind in the head and body at approximately 10am as he rode his tricycle from a supermarket.
While not confirmed, the NUJP has suggested one motive behind the shooting was his vocal opposition to the alleged illegal drugs trade and illegal gambling in his town. He often expressed these views as host of “Singgit sa mga Lungsuranon (Cry of the People)" program over local Radio DXJR-FM.
Gabinales is the 57th journalist to be killed in the Philippines since 1986 and the eighth to be killed this year.
“How many more journalists have to die before the Philippines Government makes concrete changes to ensure the protection of journalists?” asked IFJ President Christopher Warren from Geneva today.
The IFJ reiterates its call for the Philippines Government to make a public commitment to journalists’ safety and to take every step necessary to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
“Government rhetoric about press freedom and journalists’ safety is not enough,” said Warren.
“Democracy and justice demand that when we lose one of our colleagues, a full investigation takes place,” said Warren
“It is imperative that the Government acts now and proves to the international community that they are serious about press freedom and journalists’ safety,” said Warren.
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists worldwide.
For further information, please contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668.