IFJ Protests Against Attacks on Media Workers in the Philippines

9 September 2003


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malacanang Palace

Republic of the Philippines

Via email: president@gov.ph


Dear President,


The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation of journalists, representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is gravely concerned about the continuing attacks against media workers in the Philippines.


According to our information, two unidentified gunmen killed radio journalist Juan Porras Pala on 6 September 2003, while leaving a friend’s home in Davao on the southern Philippines Island of Mindanao. The death of Porras Pala brings the number of journalists killed in the Philippines this year up to 6.


Porras Pala presented a daily program on local radio station DXGO that harshly criticised local politicians and communist rebels. Previously there had been two attempts on Porras Pala’s life. The first occurred on 14 June 2001, when three bullets hit him when fired at by four masked men with M-16 rifles and Uzi submachine guns. Since this attack bodyguards constantly surround Pala.

Porras Pala was attacked again on 29 April 2003 when riding in a taxi when his bodyguards returned fire forcing his attackers to flee. An investigation was launched by the Mayor of Davao however to date no arrests have been made connected to these incidents.


Porras Pala is the 42nd journalist to be killed in the Philippines since 1986. According to our information, all 42 cases remain open with no arrests to date.


The situation in the Philippines is clearly out of control and the IFJ views this situation with the highest level of concern.


The IFJ is calling on the Government of the Philippines to make a commitment to press freedom and ensuring the safety of all journalists working in the Philippines, by launching a full investigation into the death of Porras Pala and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.


There is no worse form of censorship than violence. It is essential that journalists are free from threats of violence and allowed to work in an environment free from fear.



Yours sincerely,




Christopher Warren

President, IFJ



Recommended action:


Send appeals:

  • Expressing deep concern over the murder of Juan Porras Pala

  • Urging the Government of the Philippines to launch a full investigation into the murder as well as the pattern of journalists’ murdered over the past two decades

  • Urging the Government of the Philippines to ensure press freedom and safety of all journalists in the Philippines


    Appeals:


    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

    Malacanang Palace

    Republic of the Philippines


    Via email: president@gov.ph