Media in the Philippines has come under attack this week, both online and offline, raising serious concerns about the safety and security of the country’s media workers. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemn the latest attacks on the media, including shots fired at the home of a broadcaster, and a journalist being labelled a terrorist.
On Wednesday, September 19, radio broadcaster, Rey Siason’s home was shot at by armed men on motorcycles in Talisay City in Negros Occidental. Siason was not home during the attack; his 16-year-old daughter was home, but uninjured in the attack.
On Monday, September 17, Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Julie Alipala was labelled a terrorist in a Facebook post by Facebook group called Huwang Tularan, which is maintained by Phil Leaks. The Facebook post targeting Alipala came after she published a report questioning the killing of seven young men during a military encounter in Patikul, Sulu. The NUJP strongly condemned the post, calling it an irresponsible claim which has endangered Alipala’s life.
The NUJP has demanded separate probes into both incidents and reiterated its demands to the Duterte government to guarantee the safety of the country’s media.
These incidents come as Wikipedia published a list of fake news websites across the world. The Philippines has its own dedicated page, to highlight the prevalence of fake news websites across the country. The NUJP is one organisation in the Philippines which has been working hard to report fake news websites in the country.
The IFJ said: “Media workers in the Philippines are working in an increasingly hostile environment, with threats and attacks taking place both online and offline. The targeting of journalists for their work is a violation of press freedom, and ultimately weakens democracy in the Philippines. The Duterte Government must take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of the country’s media.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific