Press Club President shot dead in the Philippines

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in expressing concern following the murder of a journalist in Tagum City, in Davao del Norte on Mindanao Island, in the Philippines. The IFJ calls on the Philippine authorities to thoroughly investigate the killing and bring those responsible to justice.

On August 18, Gregorio Ybanez was shot three times in the chest and once in the arm out the front of his house by unidentified assailants. Ybanez was the president of the Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) and worked for local newspaper Bagting sa Katilingban, he was also a member on the Board of Directors of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative. He was immediately rushed to hospital following the attack, but died in hospital on August 19.

In an interview following Ybanez’s murder, Boy Conejes, vice-president of the DNPRC, said that in 2012 Ybanez had received death threats.

Ybanez is the fifth media worker killed in the Philippines this year, and if the motive for his murder is found to be related to his work as a journalist, he will be the 37th journalist killed under President Aquino’s administration.

The IFJ said: “We express condolences to Gregorio Ybanez’s family, friends and colleagues following his death. The safety situation facing journalists in the Philippines is deeply worrying and the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists across the country continues to weaken the Philippines’ media freedom.”

“We call on the government to take immediate action to end the culture of impunity and ensure the safety and welfare of journalist across the country.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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