The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) demands that authorities in the Philippines
take immediate steps to ensure the safety of journalists in Palawan
province, who remain under serious threat of assassination following the murder
of broadcaster Gerado Ortega last month.
IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has received information that two more
journalists have been targeted by those behind Ortega’s January 24 murder.
Rodolfo Edrad Jr, purportedly the link
to the alleged mastermind of the Ortega killing who surrendered to police on
February 5, told authorities that two more Palawan
journalists are next in line to be murdered, information which has been
verified by the NUJP.
One of the journalists in question
has reported unknown people watching his house, the NUJP reported.
“This credible evidence that journalists in Palawan province face physical harm
requires an urgent response by authorities in the Philippines,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ demands that the Philippine
National Police work to remove any possibility that further violence be
perpetrated against journalists in Palawan
province, and move quickly to bring those who ordered the murder of Gerado
Ortega to justice.”
The IFJ supports the view of the NUJP that should authorities fail to guarantee
Palawan journalists’ safety when there is clear evidence that lives are in
danger, it will only serve to bolster the growing perception that the administration
of President Benigno Aquino III does not put a premium on protecting citizens’
lives and freedoms.
Ortega, a prominent news anchor and commentator with dwAR, was
shot in the head at about 10am on January 24 as he was shopping in the San
Pedro district of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of the country’s
far-western island province
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
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