RP Ranked Sixth on List of 14 Countries Considered Unsafe for Journalists

Manila Bulletin, March 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

RP Ranked Sixth on List of 14 Countries Considered Unsafe for Journalists


The Philippines is still sixth on a list of 14 countries “where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes,” this is according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Impunity Index for 2009 titled “Getting Away With Murder.”  The Impunity Index “calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of a country’s population.” The second edition of the CPJ report this year was launched by CPJ officials in a press conference in Quezon City Monday. Elisabeth Witchel, Impunity Campaign coordinator of the CPJ, said they chose the Philippines as the venue for the presentation of the report in commemoration of the fourth death anniversary of Marlene Garcia-Esperat on March 24. The columnist Esperat was murdered at her home in front of her family in 2005 allegedly for her anti-corruption work as an investigative journalist. She wrote a weekly anti-graft column for local newspapers. Esperat, a former employee of the Department of Agriculture in Central Mindanao and Midland Review, Tacurong City, was the first to expose the P700 million fertilizer funds scam. Two top government officials  were allegedly behind her murder. The country received an Impunity Index Rating of 0.273 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants. Last year, the Philippines was also ranked 6th with a rating of 0.289. According to the CPJ report, “at least 24 journalist murders have gone unsolved in the last decade in the Philippines.” “This pervasive climate of impunity has led to repeated attacks on the press, with renewed levels of violence recorded in 2008. In just one week in August 2008, radio journalists Martin Roxas and Dennis Cuesta were fatally shot. CPJ research has shown local courts to be ineffective in trying journalist murders. Witnesses have been threatened, attacked, and killed while cases were being tried in local courts. Local judges have been reluctant to proceed with cases involving influential public figures,” CPJ said. …

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RP Ranked Sixth on List of 14 Countries Considered Unsafe for Journalists
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