Police Must Establish Motive for Murder of Journalist in the 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 murder of journalist Johnson Pascual, in Alicia, in Isabela province in the

northern Philippines.


Pascual, editor-in-chief of Prime News and a columnist with several

other newspapers in Isabela, was shot while driving to Cauayan

City by two

unidentified men on a motorcycle on October 7. He was shot in the head and

torso, and died after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a ravine.


Police are yet to identify

any suspects or establish a motive for the murder. In addition to his work as a

journalist, Pascual worked as a bank manager with the First Isabela Cooperative (FICO) Bank based in Maddela town,

Quirino province. Another Isabela-based bank manager, Rufo Uy, was murdered in

similar circumstances on September 18, according to Inquirer.net.


“While the motive for Pascual’s

murder is not yet clear, it is troubling to hear of the death of another

journalist in the Philippines,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.


“The IFJ implores authorities to act

quickly to apprehend those responsible for his murder, and establish any

connection to his work as a journalist.”


If Pascual’s murder

is related to his work, he will be the 147th journalist to be killed

in the line of duty since 1986, and the sixth under the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III. He

was not known to be at odds with any local politician in the province and his

columns rarely tackled critical issues against specific individuals or groups,

according to journalists in the area.


The IFJ extends its sympathy to

Pascual’s family and colleagues.


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