Two Journalists Killed in the Philippines

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged by the killings of one journalist and a former journalist in separate incidents on Mindanao island in December 2007.

On December 24, Fernando Lintuan, a radio broadcaster for dxGO radio in Davao, was killed by gunmen while in his car after leaving work.

About 10am, two men on a motorcycle opened fire on Lintuan at a street intersection. He was with two fellow radio journalists, dxGO’s Louie Ceniza and dxRR’s Edgar Banzon, who were unhurt but could not identify the attackers.

Ceniza told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he pretended he had been shot to avoid being killed.

Lintuan’s murder comes several days after the body of Romelito Oval Jr, a former journalist and consultant with Pilipino Bantay Kalikasan magazine, was found in a shallow grave near a lake in Barangay Sumilihon, Butuan City, northern Mindanao. Police said they had suspects in mind but were yet to determine a motive for the murder.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said the authorities must conduct full investigations into the killings of Lintuan and Oval.

“Five journalists as well as Oval were killed in the Philippines in 2007, which is shocking and reveals the extreme dangers that journalists face every day in trying to carry out their work,” she said.

“Government officials and police authorities must treat such attacks seriously and urgently. It is unacceptable that media professionals work in an environment of such danger, hostility and fear. There will be no press freedom in the Philippines until this changes.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries