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RP most dangerous country in Asia-Pacific for radio broadcasters - IFJ

December 4, 2008 10:57am

MANILA, Philippines - The killing of radio commentator Leo Mila in Northern Samar last Tuesday has cemented for the Philippines its status as the most dangerous country in the Asia Pacific for radio broadcasters, an international media group said Thursday.

On this note, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded an explanation from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her government's "lack of protection" for journalists.

"It is with great despair that we report the loss of another courageous journalist in thde Philippines at the hands of murderers," IFJ Asia-Pacific said in a statement on its website.

"The failure of Arroyo's government to show true resolve in protecting journalists in the Philippines is a disservice not only to the media as a pillar of democracy but to the general public whose right to information these journalists defend," it added.

IFJ said it "stands in solidarity" with its colleagues and the Philippine press freedom community in demanding an explanation from Mrs Arroyo for the continued danger to journalists.

Unidentified gunmen shot dead Mila, a commentator for Radyo Natin, outside the radio station in San Roque town, Northern Samar.

Mila was known for his hard-hitting political commentaries. He was the seventh journalist killed in 2008, and the 62nd to be murdered under Arroyo's seven-year administration, IFJ said.

"The death toll for journalists is the worst under any administration in the Philippines' history, including the regime of Ferdinand Marcos," IFJ said.

IFJ also noted that Of the journalists killed in the past year, five are radio broadcasters.

Last November 17, another Radyo Natin journalist, Arecio Padrigao, was shot dead in Misamis Oriental.

While IFJ welcomed the charging of two suspects for Padrigao's murder, it "strongly urges all law enforcement agencies in the Philippines to act with the same urgency in the case of Mila."

It also joins the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines in calling on President Arroyo to "acknowledge the unprecedented number of murders of journalists under her administration and to order the implementation of all measures to prevent further such tragedies."

IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide. - GMANews.TV
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