The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins with its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in expressing our deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of Philippine journalist Richard Nadjid, who was gunned down near his home in Bongao.
Richard Nadjid, 35, a community-based journalist in Bongao, Tawi-tawi was gunned just a day after the observance of UNESCO World Press Freedom Day on the night of May 4, 2014. He was married and a father of five.
While investigators have said they are yet to establish the motive for the killing, the NUJP was deeply offended that Tawi-Tawi provincial police director Senior Supt. Joselito Salido has immediately and baselessly dismissed the possibility of Nadjid's murder being work-related, calling the victim "just one disc jockey, a person that plays popular music on FM radio station. He is not a journalist."
NUJP chairperson Rowena C. Paraan said: “For Salido's enlightenment, Nadjid was not only the station manager of DxNN Power Myx FM station in Bongao, he also handled the station's regular morning news and public affairs program.”
Paraan continued: “That the chief of a province's police force can display not only insensitivity but, more alarming, ignorance at a time like this reflects on the quality of what is supposed to be the country's main law enforcement agency and explains why media murders and human rights violations in general continue to be committed with impunity.”
“Salido's cop-out on Nadjid's murder is not surprising given how his commander-in-chief, President Benigno Aquino III, himself set the tone by dismissing media killings with his recent blanket insinuation that these media murders have been prodded by motives other than the victims' work.”
Nadjid is the 27th journalist killed under the Aquino administration, the worst year-on-year record under any administration.
The IFJ said: “Every time another journalist is killed in the Philippines it is a black mark against the Aquino administration. The never ending atmosphere for journalists of intimidation and violent threat in the Philippines must come to an end. President Aquino has to ensure that journalists in his country are free and able to go about their work without fear of retribution.”