IFJ: Abduction Fears for Missing TV Team in the Philippines

Media Release: Philippines
June 10, 2008

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) holds grave concerns for the safety of broadcast journalist Ces Drilon and her media crew after they were reported missing on Jolo island, Sulu archipelago, in the Philippines on June 8.

Local authorities informed the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, that members of a militant organisation are suspected to be responsible for abducting Drilon and fellow ABS-CBN news journalists Jimmy Encarnacion and Angelo Valderama.

A well-known peace activist, Professor Octavio Dinampo, of Mindanao State University, is also reportedly missing.

“Whatever the abductors stand for, whatever their goals are, there is absolutely no justification for seizing journalists whose sole concern is to seek out the truth and present it as accurately as possible,” the NUJP said today.

IFJ Asia-Pacific added, “The fears held for the ABS-CBN crew are a stark reminder that journalism in the Philippines has not ceased to be an incredibly dangerous profession and we honour those journalists who work for press freedom under such difficult circumstances.

“Media owners must ensure that adequate preparations and safety measures are provided for all journalists and media workers who report from especially dangerous regions in the Philippines.”

The IFJ joins the NUJP in condemning the suspected abduction and calling on the Philippines Government, police force and local authorities to act immediately to ensure the safe return of the media team.

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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