Attacks on Journalists in Philippines Alarms Reporters Without Borders

Apr. 20, 2007

Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today at the murder of public radio reporter Carmelo Palacios in the northern province of Nueva Ecija on 17 April and a shooting attack south of Manilla today on Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent Delfin Mallari and radio DZMM reporter Johnny Glorioso, in which Mallari was injured. Police said Palacios’ murder was probably linked to his work as a journalist.

“We call on the competent authorities, especially the police chief and justice department, to ensure that both of these cases are properly investigated,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After the Melo Commission report and the UN Human Rights Council’ investigations, with its damning conclusions for the Philippine government, those responsible for these attacks must be identified and punished. If they turn out to be members of the security forces, we urge the government to take additional measures to put a stop to this kind of abuse.”

Aged 41, Palacios worked for public-owned dzRB Radio ng Bayan. His body was found yesterday in Santa Rosa, in Nueva Ecija province, with bullet wounds to the head, many facial fractures, and injuries to the body. He was known for reporting on corruption and, at the time of his death, was investigating cases of abuse of authority by local officials and policemen. As a Citizens Crime Watch activist, he had also helped the police track down criminals.

Witnesses said he went to the Cabanatuan City police station on 17 April and spent several hours there. He then left with a friend to an unknown destination. Witnesses said his body was dumped there from an unidentified car which immediately took off.

Mallari and Glorioso were fired on by two men aboard a motorcycle as they were driving to radio DWKI, a local station south of Manila. Mallari, 53, was hit in the leg and was rushed to hospital. Glorioso was unhurt. Mallari, who also edits a local newspaper, Ang Dyaryo Natin, and is known for covering illegal logging and drug trafficking, said he had received death threats. Both journalists said they thought they knew who was responsible for the shooting but they refused to name him.

Un journaliste tu et un second bless par balles

Reporters sans frontires est indigne par l’assassinat, le 17 avril 2007, du journaliste Carmelo Palacios de la station dzRB Radio ng Bayan, dans la province de Nueva Ecija (Nord). La police a confirm que le motif professionnel tait privilgi. Par ailleurs, le 19 avril, deux hommes ont tir sur Delfin Mallari, correspondant du Philippine Daily Inquirer dans la province du Sud Luzon, et Johnny Glorioso de la radio DZMM, au sud de Manille.

“Nous demandons aux autorits comptentes, notamment au directeur de la police et au ministre de la Justice, de tout mettre en oeuvre pour que des enqutes exhaustives soient menes sur ces deux attaques. Aprs les conclusions accablantes pour l’Etat philippin de la Commission Melo et du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies, il est urgent que les auteurs de ces violences soient identifis et sanctionns. Si les coupables sont issus des rangs des forces de scurit, nous appelons le gouvernement prendre de nouvelles mesures pour faire cesser ce type d’exactions”, a affirm l’organisation.

Le 18 avril 2007, le corps de Carmelo Palacios, g de 41 ans, a t retrouv Santa Rosa, dans la province de Nueva Ecija. L’autopsie a indiqu que le journaliste de la radio publique dzRB Radio ng Bayan avait de nombreuses fractures au visage, des blessures sur le corps et des impacts de balles dans le visage. Carmelo Palacios tait connu pour son travail de dnonciation de la corruption et sa collaboration avec la police, dmanteler des groupes criminels, travers le Citizens Crime Watch. Il enqutait, au moment de son dcs, sur des cas d’abus de pouvoir de la part de policiers et de fonctionnaires locaux.

D’aprs des dclarations de tmoins, le journaliste s’tait rendu le jour mme de son assassinat au commissariat de Cabanatuan City. Aprs y avoir pass quelques heures, Carmelo Palacios, accompagn d’un ami, est parti vers une destination inconnue. Selon des habitants du quartier dans lequel a t retrouv le cadavre, un vhicule non identifi a dpos le corps avant de prendre la fuite.

Le 19 avril, deux hommes circulant moto ont tir sur Delfin Mallari et Johnny Glorioso, alors qu’ils se rendaient en voiture dans les locaux de la radio locale DWKI, au sud de Manille. Delfin Mallari, touch par une balle, a t transport l’hpital pour y recevoir des soins alors que Johnny Glorioso s’en est tir indemne. Delfin Mallari, g de 53 ans, a affirm qu’avant cette attaque, il avait reu des menaces de mort. Egalement directeur du journal local Ang Dyaryo Natin, il est connu pour ses reportages sur les trafics de bois et de drogue. Les deux journalistes pensent savoir qui en est l’auteur mais n’ont pas voulu le rvler.

Vincent Brossel
Asia – Pacific Desk
Reporters Sans Frontires
5 rue Geoffroy Marie
75009 Paris
33 1 44 83 84 70
33 1 45 23 11 51 (fax)

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