Second Media Killing in Philippines Within 24 Hours: Arroyo and Aquino Must Act

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is today horrified to learn of the killing of a radio broadcaster in the northern Philippines, the second media killing within two days.


Joselito Agustin, 37, a commentator for dzJC Aksyon Radyo-Laoag, was shot on his way home to Bacarra town, Ilocos Norte, late on June 15 and died in hospital at 1.15 am today. The culprits were riding a motorcycle.


The murder came about 24 hours after the brazen killing of broadcaster Desidario “Jessie” Camangyan, anchorman of Sunrise FM, in Mati, Davao Oriental, as he hosted a singing contest in Manay, in the southern province of Mindanao.


“These killings, barely half a month before president-elect Noynoy Aquino takes office, show that enemies of press freedom in the Philippines are confident they can continue to get away with murder,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


Agustin’s death is the 139th killing of a media worker in the Philippines since 1986, and the 102nd during the tenure of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate.


Agustin reportedly had been receiving death threats, and his home was strafed with gunfire on May 7, according to news reports. Colleagues were quoted as saying Agustin’s anti-corruption position might be motivation for the attacks.


“Aquino must send a strong and clear message to law enforcers and justice officials that he will take all necessary action to end the killings of media workers, and to see justice prevail against the perpetrators of these vicious crimes,” Ms Park said.


“And Gloria Arroyo must be held accountable for her failure to act on more than 100 killings of media workers during her presidency. As a Congresswoman in the new Congress, she remains at the forefront of our attention to seeing that justice is done.”


Correction: A revised tally of the number of media killings that have occurred during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo puts the number of deaths at 106, not 102 as stated above.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide