Archive for the ‘press freedom’ Category

Another gruesome journalist’s slay

November 17, 2008

Barely a month after Reporters Without Border lowered RP’s freedom index from 128th to 142nd this year, another journalist, has been reportedly slained in Gingoong City, Misamis Oriental. Radio Natin commentator Aristeo Padrigao, a hard-hitting critic of Mayor Ruthy Guingona, died of gunshot wound inflicted by a motorcycle-riding assailant according the provincial police chief Catalino Rodriguez.

“The Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said the Philippines has become the ‘most dangerous place for journalists next to Iraq and the most murderous place in the world for journalists.’ “—GMANewsTV (11/17/08, Jacinto, A)

Mostly unresolved, more than 50 Filipino journalists have been killed since 2001 and greater than 800 civilians have died or went missing under suspicious circumstances. The public is angered and frustrated. The 7th journalist to die in 2008, Padrigao casts strong doubts on Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s capacity to stave off the deteriorating human rights record of the Philippines. =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s 2008 Press Freedom Rank: 142nd out of 173 nations,” Posted by mesiamd at 10/26/2008; “Deteriorating Human Rights Record: another journalist shot dead in Camarines Sur,” posted by mesiamd at 08/16/08.)

UPDATE:“The horrific pattern of antagonism and violence against journalists in the Philippines is a disgrace and must end,” said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ Asia-Pacific) said in a reaction to the death of Aristeo Padrigao, a staunched critic of illegal logging in Mindanao. Calling for justice, IfJ, bewails the helplessness of RP to stop the killings which have claimed the lives of 61 journalists since 2001 according to the Nuational Union of Jounrnalists in the Philippines NUJP).Inquirer (11/18/08, Kwok, A)

RP’s 2008 Press Freedom Rank: 142nd out of 173 nations

October 25, 2008

The Reporters Without Borders’ Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2008 had the Philippines ranked 142nd out of 173 countries in the order of decreasing press freedom. This is a sharp drop from number 128 in the previous year, indicating the continued deterioration of press freedom in the country.

High in the index list are Iceland, Luxembourg, and Norway which share 1st place. Countries like Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd), and Eritrea (173rd) are in the bottom heap. Corruption, according to the international watchdog, is mainly to blame for the decline of press freedom which “eats away democracies…”

Sec. Cerge Remonde, chief of the presidential management staff, thinks this is just a matter perception not reality— even if from year 2001 more than 50 journalists have been murdered in the Philippines. Another 800 civilians disappeared (desaparecidos) or died from premeditated killings. The perpetrators of these crimes including those done by the military remained unpunished. (See my blog entitled “Deteriorating Human Rights Record: another journalist shot dead in Camarines Sur, 08/16/08.)

Remonde says press freedom is very lively, aggressive and free in the country, but he didn’t look into the dangers which cause journalists to die on the job. Such distorted pronouncements on the plight of journalists and media men (Inquirer, 10/25/08, Burgonio, TJ) aggravates the lack of trust and cynicism of Filipinos towards government authority. Some sectors dismiss Remonde’s statement as a lie, part of the reasons why human rights don’t improve in the country. (pkj_jason) Photo Credit:=0=