Radio Anchor Critically Wounded in Shooting in the Southern Philippines

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in calling for an immediate investigation into

the November 24 shooting of journalist Michael James Licuanan in Cagayan de

Oro, in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

 

Licuanan, anchor of Zona Libre, on Bombo Radyo Cagayan de Oro, was critically

wounded by a single gunshot wound at about 9:30 pm as he was nearing Cogon

Market, about a kilometer away from the radio station. Two men on a red

motorcycle, who were reportedly sighted outside the station several hours

before the shooting, followed Licuanan from the station as he returned home

from his duties anchoring his evening program.

 

After

being shot, Licuanan was able to run to a nearby fire station where he asked

for help. Licuanan was taken to the Northern Mindanao Medical

Center for treatment, and has since regained consciousness, according to media

reports.

 

Bombo

Radyo Cagayan de Oro City Station Manager Celso Maldecir said Licuanan had been

commenting on the arrest of Sammy M. Yusop by Phillipine Drug Enforcement

Agency (PDEA 10) agents on November 22. Yusop was caught with 1.5 kilos of

methamphetamine, with a street value of PHP 20 million (roughly USD 500,000) in

a raid carried out by PDEA 10.  

 

“Philippines

police and drug enforcement agents must quickly establish if Licuanan’s

shooting is related to his on-air comments regarding the drug bust in Cagayan

de Oro,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ

condemns the shooting and is concerned by what appears to be an escalation of

violence against journalists in the Philippines in 2011.”

 

The Philippines has

for many years been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for

journalists. While only four journalists were killed in 2010, so far seven have

been killed in 2011, and attacks and threats are still widespread.

 

The shooting

comes the day after the NUJP staged

nationwide protests as part of the inaugural International

Day to End Impunity, which marked the two-year anniversary of the Ampatuan

Town Massacre in the Philippines

on November 23, 2009.

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific