The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in deploring the brutal murder of a radio broadcaster in Quezon City on October 31. The IFJ and NUJP today demanded immediate action from President Benigno Aquino III as the world marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists and calls for an adequate response to the ongoing targeted killing of media workers in the Philippines.
On Saturday October 31, radio broadcaster for local station dwIZ and columnist for the tabloid newspaper Bandera Pilipino, Jose Bernardo, was gunned down outside a restaurant in Quezon City. Bernardo was shot twice in the head and died at the scene. An employee of the restaurant was also shot in the chest by a stray bullet but is recovering in hospital. As well as being a broadcaster and columnist, Bernardo was the public information officer of the Northern Police District Tri-Media Organization (NPD-TMO), a group of media workers covering the northern Metro Manila police beat. According to witnesses, the assailant appeared to be waiting for Bernardo when he pulled out a handgun and shot him. The gunman boarded a waiting motorcycle and fled.
NUJP secretary general JB Deveza said: “Under this administration, a large part of the blame should fall on Aquino, who has displayed a penchant for blaming practically everything wrong with his governance, or lack thereof, on the media, which can only embolden those who would impose the ultimate censorship – death – coupled with an utterly uncaring attitude towards the murders of journalists and human rights violations in general.
“We call on all our colleagues to remain steadfast to our calling and on the people we serve to stand with us in demanding justice for Jose Bernardo and all other fallen journalists,” he said.
The IFJ said: “Today there can be no more devastating reminder of the dangers of journalism in our region than the senseless killing of Jose Bernardo. Today, November 2 is UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and yet here we are mourning the loss of yet another of our fallen colleagues. Governments like the Philippines can no longer hide behind excuses – the world demands action. Jose Bernardo is the 8th journalist killed this year in the Philippines and the country remains on top of global impunity indexes. This is a national shame that has also taken place under the watch of President Aquino.”
The IFJ has called again on President Aquino to respond to its 2015 report on the Ampatuan Massacre in the lead-up to November 23 – the 6th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, in Maguindanao, the Philippines.
Join the IFJ #EndImpunity campaign tagging #IFJ and demand action for Jose Bernardo and the other slain journalists across the world. #whatareyoudoing? #Aquino
IFJ campaign: http://bit.ly/IFJendimpunity
IFJ impunity resources: http://bit.ly/IFJimpunityresources
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
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