The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands that authorities in the Philippines take immediate steps to ensure the safety of journalists in Palawan province, who remain under serious threat of assassination following the murder of broadcaster Gerado Ortega last month.
IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has received information that two more journalists have been targeted by those behind Ortega’s January 24 murder.
Rodolfo Edrad Jr, purportedly the link to the alleged mastermind of the Ortega killing who surrendered to police on February 5, told authorities that two more Palawan journalists are next in line to be murdered, information which has been verified by the NUJP.
One of the journalists in question has reported unknown people watching his house, the NUJP reported.
“This credible evidence that journalists in Palawan province face physical harm requires an urgent response by authorities in the Philippines,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ demands that the Philippine National Police work to remove any possibility that further violence be perpetrated against journalists in Palawan province, and move quickly to bring those who ordered the murder of Gerado Ortega to justice.”
The IFJ supports the view of the NUJP that should authorities fail to guarantee Palawan journalists’ safety when there is clear evidence that lives are in danger, it will only serve to bolster the growing perception that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III does not put a premium on protecting citizens’ lives and freedoms.
Ortega, a prominent news anchor and commentator with dwAR, was shot in the head at about 10am on January 24 as he was shopping in the San Pedro district of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of the country’s far-western island province of Palawan.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
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