IFJ demands investigation into a Kalinga broadcaster’s murder attempt

May. 18, 2010

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands a full police investigation into the attempted murder of radio broadcaster Jerome Tabanganay in the northern Philippines on May 14.

Tabanganay, 44, host of the “Agenda” news program, was reportedly confronted by an unidentified assailant as he entered his office at the government-owned Radyo ng Bayan station in Kalinga province early on Friday morning, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

The gunman fired four times, hitting Tabanganay in the back of his right leg and knee as he fled into the office, the NUJP said.

Tabanganay’s regular criticism of crime and corruption in the province had made his program one of the most popular in Kalinga. The NUJP, an IFJ affiliate, believes this is the likely motivation for the attack.

“The attack on Jerome Tabanganay diminishes hopes of relief for journalists in the Philippines from the culture of impunity that has seen up to 100 media workers killed during the administration of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“The IFJ calls on the country’s likely new President, Noynoy Aquino, to commit to investigating and punishing violence against journalists in every province, to combat the persistent failure of local authorities to prevent targeted attacks against local media.”

Meanwhile, in Maguindanao in the country’s southern province of Mindanao, Esmael Mangudadatu was voted in as the new Governor on May 14, ousting the powerful Ampatuan clan.

Mangudadatu’s wife and two sisters were among the 58 people killed in the massacre in Maguindanao on November 23 last year, as they travelled to file his election candidacy papers in the provincial capital. Those murdered included 32 journalists and media workers, in the worst atrocity committed against journalists in memory.

The massacre was allegedly carried out on the orders of Ampatuan family members.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide

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