Suspects Win Injunction in Case of Journalist’s Murder in Philippines

Media Release: Philippines
May 29, 2008

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) requests that courts in the Philippines, particularly the Court of Appeals, seek to ensure that the suspects in the murder of journalist Marlene Grace Esperat face trial.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, the Court of Appeals granted an injunction petition by the two suspects, agriculture officials Osmeña Montañer and Estrella Sabay, on May 14.

The injunction was reportedly granted on the basis of an administrative error in moving the hearing of the case from Tacurong City to Cebu City.

“There is cause for concern that the suspects, who are accused of gunning down Esperat in front of her family, may not be tried due to legal technicalities,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

“It is deeply worrying that fewer than six of those responsible for the murders of 93 journalists or media workers in the Philippines since 1986 have been convicted.”

The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on the courts to investigate the need for a review of the injunction in the Esperat case, as the hearing of the case is an important step in protecting the journalism community from further violent attacks.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries


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