Outspoken Filipino broadcaster shot dead in public market

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is saddened to report the brutal murder of a Digos City radio broadcaster in the Philippines this morning, May 23, and has called on the Aquino government to take much-needed decisive action to aim at curbing the disturbing number of attacks directed at the broadcast media.

According to the IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Samuel Oliverio, 54, was shot and killed along Del Pilar Street, Digos City, at 7.30am. The NUJP have reported that Oliverio was on his way home from the public market when he was shot by two gunmen who did not even bother to cover their faces.

NUJP chairperson Rowena C. Paraan said: “We can almost predict what comes next: police setting up another of those useless task forces that have so far failed to nail any of the masterminds in the 163 media murders before Oliverio’s, and the government vowing to bring his case to “justice” just as it has failed to do with all the other cases.”

Colleagues in Digos said Oliverio was known for his scathing commentaries on local politics and that he used to deliver strong views on his program against the proliferation of illegal gambling and illegal drugs in the city.

Oliverio is the third journalist killed in the Philippines so far in 2014 and the 28th killed during the administration of President Aquino. On Sunday April 6, reporter and radio block timer Rubylita Garcia was shot dead in front of her son and 10-year-old granddaughter and on May 4 Richard Nadjid a 35 year old community-based journalist was gunned down near his home in Bongao leaving behind five children.”

NUJP chairperson Rowena C. Paraan was scathing in her comments about the Aquino administration’s treatment of media murders and said that the NUJP did not hold much hope when it came to the possibility justice being served for Samuel Oliverio.

“It would not be farfetched to expect that, somewhere down the road, some government flunky, or even President Benigno Aquino III himself, will be repeating the immortal words he uttered during US President Barack Obama’s visit, that the victim was killed “not because of professional activities, but, shall we say, “other” issues. As if anything justified murder,” she said.

 “What we cannot predict will happen, however, is when a government that has time and again shown itself onion-skinned in the face of criticism will show the least bit of embarrassment and remorse for being insulted again and again by the extrajudicial murders that unmask its inability or unwillingness to protect its own citizens and make a mockery of all its claims to democracy, the rule of law and “inclusive development.”

The IFJ extends it condolences to the family and colleagues of Samuel Oliverio and calls on authorities to immediately conduct an extensive investigation into this awful incident.

IFJ Asia Pacific acting director Jane Worthington said: ““The Aquino administration’s continued failure to protect the journalists of the Philippines has perpetuated an environment where journalists are murdered in their homes, on the street and in public. The horrific depth of impunity in the Philippines means that attackers do not even bother to shield their identities when they are carrying out these horrific assassinations.  Samuel Olivierio’s killing cannot be ignored or disregarded as so many others have been – again it highlights how the Aquino government has been proven to be guilty of murder by its own inaction.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 Find the IFJ on Twitter: 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific