'II 'I' I I I

A study by the, C,enter for Media Freedom ,and 'Responsibility

JO'Ulrlnali,st Killings lunder the Alrlroyo,Administrat,ion (210101 - 2101016)

A Study by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility



Center for Media Freedom and Responsi bili ty

Gopyrig,.t © 1006

by the Center for Media Freedomand Responsibility

AU rights reserved. No part of this study

mOlY 00 reproduced inarw form or by decttro.nic

OJ' :m.ech~h]cal means., inelu ding information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in wr.Hing hom the publisher, except bra reviewer

whomsy quote brief passages in a. review.

Journalist Killings under the Arroyo Admmistra tion (20m -2(06) 4

Snapshots: A look at specific cases 14

Attacks against and threats to media practitioners 24

On killings of journalists It In the Line of Duty":

Terms and Pnnciples of Analysis 43

Filipino Journalists/Media Practitioners Killed

in the Ul1.€ of Dutv since 1986 47

., '. '.J

Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists, Inc. (FlFFJ) 48

Standard information for writing effective alerts 51

Checklist for writing alerts 52


.Jo1urn.alist, Kilillings undlelf the Arrolyo Adlministration (21001-21006)

By Rachel [E. Kh an 1 with research from Nathan lee

I ntth@.p.-.ast.y.ear t contn~ue~ ~f£orts by local and u: terna t]o]~lClI ~ed~ organiza tio~~s had brought about sigruficant developments m pursmng Justice for the slam


On November 29" 2005.!' the four-year-old murder case of Edgar Damalerio was finally brought to a close with the convienon of POl Guillermo WapHe. Meanwhile. fhe slow wheels of justicewere eventually set inmotion for at least three other cases of slain journalists. These were. Marlene Esperat, Roger Mariano, and Philip AgUS.ti.FL

Btl tthe pattern .of im puni ty remains,

In fad, it can be noted that the situation has gradually worsened since the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (OvIFlR) had begunto dihgentl y monitor the killings of j ournalists in 1991.

Because of a perceived need, CMFR, together with five other media organizations, established the Freedom. Fund for Filipino journalists, Inc .. (FFFJ) in 2003. FFFJ is a network dedicated to raise funds for assistance to journalistsunder siege and victims' families and to undertake campaigns of advocacy. The other members are: the Phili ppine Center for Investigative J ournalism (PCIn, the Cen ter for Community Journalism and Development (COD), the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the Kapisanan ng IUga Brodkas ter ng Pilipinas {KBP}, and the Philippine Neto« (a newspaper in California). CMFR serves as its secretariat and research arm.

III September 2005, CIV1FR released a comprehensive report on slain journalists to help pinpoint trends that could contrfbute to minimizing the dangerto journalists, Since then, however, at least six more journalists had been killed in the line of duty. Thus, counting from the 1986 post-Marcos era, a total number of 60 joumalisrs had been killed in the line of duty. Of these, CMFR noted that 4'7% or 28 journalists had been killed duringthe Arroyo administration alone ..


The rising incidence of journalists' deaths since 200:Ccom:bined with recent threats to press freedom, had set oJfal arm be] ls in lboth the local arid lnt:el"natl.o'llaJ media commurdties. A country s w hieh was once perceived as having the freest media. in As.~a.i' had beeome the world's "most dangerous place for journalists" outside a. war zone.

The murders of media members continue 1:0 reflect the state of poor law enforcement and 21.11 ineffective judicial system .. Assassinations of media practitioners, however, are surpassed by equallyunsolved murders of human rights lawyers and other activists. Police records show that at least 122 left-wing activists and 65 local gov@:mm.ent employees had been slain since .2001. However, when journalists gel; ktlled.fhe citizens' rightto freedom ofmfo1!1'mation is likewisethrea ten,e:d.


In responsete this growing number of ex ITa -jll::ildidalkiUings, the Phili ppine N a tiona! Police (PNP) created a high-leveltask force dubbed "Usig" in May 2006,~D take charge ofthe overall case mf1ina.gemeril tand build -ULP for the speedier solu Hon of kmin~ of militant group members, journalists, and government officials from 2001 to the present.

Task Force Us:~g commander, Deputy Director General Aveline I. Razon Jr. sought it di.a1oguew-rnW media, wi~h ~he aim of increasing cooperation and coordination between government and private media.

The initial dia~ogue,held at ltil1te EDSA Shangrila hotel onjune 4; 2006, was organized by the KiElY Dming the dtalogue, CMlFR. was ab]e~D compare nO~FS with the task force in terms of sill. tistics on the slain journalists and a.11 agreement on a def.inition of terms, such as "in the Iin€ of d1LlF}".'··· The PNP also promised-to clarify their definition of "solved" cases each thnetheyuse the term in pr!1:'ss: conferences. CIv[JFR. earlier noted that PNP considered a case "solved" ortce they had identified the suspect, rng2lroJess: of whether or not he had been arrested.

Other salient points in the dialogu:xe dlat were agreed upon in principle inehide the designation of official contact persons from ~~e PNPand~he separation of cases of slain journafists from other murder cases" The FFFJ also urged the PNP to allow the restrictive custod y and immediate :liHng of administrati ve charges against PNP personrtelinvolved in crime, especiall y violence against media practitioners, even at the pmlimilrilru:y investigation stage.

In a second Jjalogru,e, now involving both the PNF and the Department of Justke (Don, fFfJ urged the Do] to speed upthe prosecution prooess of slain journalists' cases. OH.@:nl:ifiH~s,FoUce Director Marcelo Ele, Jr. noted that policeare forcedto let


EII'I: =========================

the suspects go when the local fiscal fans tome charges against them withinthe legally allotted time, However, DoN Secretary Raul Gonzalez countered that many times, the failure of police to gather evidence against the suspects doss not gi ve thefisca] sufficienf n~~H;OJ:l to filecharges even as the case would likely be simply dismissed in court.


Beca use of the growing number of killmgs in the Arroyo administra tion, CMfR decided to focus its study on slain joumalists from 20m to the present. Apartfrom improved policeand Do} acfion, someoammon denominatcrs continue to suggest ~he need ~oli:' a moreactive press community,

Purpose Qf stnd!l, Gene:ral Objective;

To establish aJi1J. overview of journalist killings from 2001bo July 2:006.

~pecific 01;jeetive,s:

1. To determine common factors in the .hlgh number of slain journalists duringthe Arroyo administration.

2, To, identify actions and strat.egtes that may helpto stop or lessen the killings,


Data" base analysts and interview methods were used with the aim off giving an integrati ve description of the journalistkillings in the country from 2001 to July 200:6 .. fA descriptive method of r>€looarch was chosen because it is based on a fact-finding method using: both quaHtahve and quantitative approaches. The study's emphasis is the actual situation and background behindthe ]arge number 'Of slain jOUl'TI.alists, especially provincial broadcasters,

CMFR researcherstraveled throughou tthe c:ountTy inthe first quarter of 2)0 06~o gatlilerfirst-handinformaHol1 on the study by the primary subjects/persons.


Date of death (date of killing) Name {name of slain journalist)

News organization (where the jeumalist worked for; plus organizational accreditation)

Position [nature of work)

Medium (me<d]um of specialization] Place 'of Death.

Circumstances (details surrounding the death. of the joumalisf)



Orgaruzational aifiliat:io[ll of the joumalist (media as:sodaHon/s of which the journalist is 11 member, andl or accreditation from a self-regulatory body ]ilke the KBP)

lob/emp]o:yment classification (contract/ status on how the journalist was being paid)

Acadernicj'professional background ill journalism Ooum_alisfs, h]ghest ed ucational attainment, formal rraining amd. experience in. media practice]

Case status {case upda tes on thetrial of the suspects and inv€!sfiig:alion of the police)

Famil y batkgmund / civil status (determmed size .of .family! farrulies.thenumber and agel capacities of dependents)

Suspects arrested/ surrendered (identifies the suspects, if any); and, Case contacts (to establish relia 'Om ty and validi ty of fads).


Primary data have-been gathered through interviews with provincial sources for all the cases.Jn each case,OvIFR i~'tterviewed 80Ul~S from ~lnte slain journalists family. the colleagues of the victim inllie station/publicaJion. that he wor~ed for, and, the PNP. In some caseaadditional inputs were culled from the COUI~S in charge .oJ the cases, lawyershandling the prosecution against the suspects in the killings.andthe Dol·

AjdditiQ:nal data we:~e g2lfhelfed from the databanks of tfut.€ PNP, the Asian mnstitu.te of journalism and Cemmurucatton (AIJC), the Conmlitoo€ to' Protect [ournaljsts (CPJ}, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and the National Union of [oumalists of the Philippines (NUfIP).

Data ana lus:is


All variables were analyzed in terms of qt1.mJtiitaHve (usrng frequency cormts and percentage dist:rilbuti.o~) ali'ld qualitative (focused. interviews] schemes to provide an overview of the cases of the slam journalists, with substantia] conaidera tiOfl given to !~he background and other pertinent factors,

S:CO,ve an.d l:iJn:itatiou$

Due to CMfR' s concernfoe freedom of expression issues, the study is limited to cases of slain journalists in the ]iIDI.e of duty.

Under the AJ:royoadnlin~sb:21tion!" 28 journalists had been killed inthe line of duty; while 18 others we're killed because of other reasons;

Srain broadcast journalists eonttnuedto outnumber journalists in other media,


comprising 82% 'Of the 28 jOl.U'J:mlrsts killed in the line of duty" The numbers suggest tha t those in. broadcasting are more vulnera ble to attack. .A.s noted in the previous study, a. 2004 Asia 8U1'V'ey showed tl)a~ eelevision andradio were the primary source of news on campaigns and candidates in the last elections, ll'leaning that more Fi~ip]nos Favor the broadcast 1

media in getting political information .. About ...... ~--------_ 25% itl08€ who were slain were working both in print and radio or te]evision.m these cases, it was their work in the latter that made them better known. Obviously! journalists get better knewnand get mereattention w hen they wor k

ill broadcast {see figure n

Most of those killed worked in the provinces" Even in urbanizedareas in. the provinces-the cases are not likel y to g@t tll.e kind of national attention that wilJ press police to investigate cases,

• Notall the provinces are equally dangerous. The highest death toll rates were found in Region IV-A (CAUUARZON), 21 %; Region V (Bicol Region), 14.2%; and, R,egiOllIX (Zamboanga Peninsula) 17.8%. (see flgu:re 2)


Numiber of deaths




radio lTV

fad le I print

lV f print

! l I
- I t
I I r
I ~ (NCR)

~ (;f;f.lP.ilIiKJ

~ (CAR)

~. {CAR_A~J

~ ~ ~ ~

~ .















~. Since ~OO1, mliy one case, that of EdgM Damaleno, had successfully reached a conviction. MeanwhU.e,.17.8% of the cases are under currentlytrial. 50% are still under investigatlon, 14.2.% have been dismissed due to lack of evidence agamst tnt: suspecta.and 14.2% are pending prosecution (see figure 3),~

.. In at least eight of the cases, government personnel, such as po]:!JQe officers, local government offi.ciaJs, have been identified as the prime suspect;


• Research into the location reveals a pattern in the modus operandi OE attackers, Most or the kUlings were done near t.he place of work or the home, indicating how killers have studied the routines of the victim. CMfR has found that news organizations do notprovid€: their staff with guidance on safety as a matter of course {See figure 4};


;-~_ .~
'" L_ r-
~. r--
/ L__
"'~ -, r--
~ ~ ~ HI

4 :2 {I

N one of the slam journalists weve af:llHa~ed with any national news organizasion, 25 % were freelance prin tf broadcastjouenalists and 285 % were radio block. timers, Only 28.5% were regular employees of provincial news organizations. Moreover, among the slam broadcast journalists, only 25% had current KBP accreditation, w hile 14L2. % had expired accreditation and 39 % had no accred ]ta" nO'n at all.

It cen also be noted that many of the slain journalists did. not ha v€ academic training in journalism. About 44.4.4 % had college degrees in fieldsnot relatedto journalism Or mass oammemication, Some 22 . .22% did net finish oo]lege, 1 l.l I % only finished high schoolwhile 1825% didnot have a record of any educational attamnllent;

~ However, at least: 37% had media training from short courses (In,d. training programs conducted by the KBP and other media organizations;


While we can only hope that the promises madeby the P1\JP and the DoJ will lead to the speedier prosecution and conviction of assassins and masterminds, other measures must be taken to reduce, if not turn around the cycle of violence.

CMFR has consistently emphaslzed that press freedom should never be penalized, except through the course of libel, slander, or organizattonal sanctions imposed in line with self-regulation. Bl:lt,E1S the study shows,~here are certain. factors that contribute to the press' individualand instltutionalvulnerabtlity that needto be addressed,

Ethics tminiJ.rganrJ KBP accreditation

011 an institu tiona] level, the study noted that there was a strong dependence of provincial broadcast stations onmedia practitioners who work freelance Or as "block timers," who did not have accreditation with the KBP, as well as lacked education and [ormal trainmg in journalism, These are aspects that can be described as a lack of "professionalization" ]11 the conduct of the pves:s, affec~ing the quality of the newsj commentary service.

The term "professionalization" is used here as referringto the shared values and standards of practice and conduct, and not to the lSS1l.1.e of government Iicensing, The history of radio in the Philippines has shown that "professionalization" can be achieved through on-the-job training. But with the expansion of broadcast In the country, many broadcast organizations do not provide such training. especially in areas of news reporting and commentary.

The fail me of ownersto supervise their own showshas also been noted ... In fad, one of the hindrances in the pil0s.ecu tion of the cases is the failure of sta HonB to provide the courts with recordings of the radio pmgrams of Us members, which could be used as evidence in discovering the perSian w homa yha ve a motive for silencing the journalists.

Media. establishments should strive for greab':!r responsibility in. i tsreportage and news programs. As asserted by C~ll'R_ €·xecuti v'e director Melmda Quin~os de Jesus, "C1VlLFR has always seen freedom and responsibility as linked, as dual values that must gD side by side if dlf presfj is to serve as a pillar of democracy. The basis for CMI' [l program S isIhe belief that freedom. is best protected by responsible practice, because when the press does the right thil1,gs Freely and on its own, it will gain the


kind of public support that will help to protect the institution and its members from attack and assault by government QT by other powerful indi viduals or institutions. This is not to say that anyone deserves to die for lack of accreditation or for offensive .. ~ . d .. ~. n

~eporLmg an ' .. comrnen ta ry,

Since last year, the KBP has called members to review their practice of maintaining Mock timers andtalents who have not passed accreditation. National media-based associations need to establish ethical templates that can guide employee-Band freelance workers" including "blocktimers." KBP should insist that all those going onthe air for news and commentary should 11,01 ve passed accreditation as a minimum.

- ,


As pointed out in the September 2005 stl;]ldy, thi s connectionberw-eeu the lack of ethicsJresponsibUi.ty and killings has been noted elsewhere. The pamphlet, "Staying: Alive" published by the FFFY, leaves this. message to' working journalists in the country: "Responsi hili ty can be your best protection." Simdlar Iy, in an article for the then Philippine Journalism Review (Oc~obel!" 2002), journalist Carlos Conde bemoaned the negativism that prevailed in provincial talk programs and criticized the tendency of journalists to harass their news subjects.fhe use of llllsuHing and slanderona/Hbelous language and the mixture of reportage with commentary and opinion, He w:m~e,"'I wandered: ifF were the subject of such on-air harangues, what wouldhappen? Or, to be more specific, what would] do? .. Does the mix of sloppy reportage and irresponsi ble commentary Over the airwaves have anything to do with the fad that most of the journalists lk.iHed in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, were broadcasters, (working) either as reporter or commentator or both? Do these cheap shots cheapen lives?"

In PCI], is Mog site, executive director Sheila. Coronel proposed that advoca te groups domore to put a stop to the killings, Among other things, she asked, "Should we therefore also be doing workto raise the standards of journalism? Should part of the protection work incl ude fortifying thequabty of journalism to make I it less. vulnerable to violent attack?" These questions would not OOCUJi' in. other places where violence is not such a common and a vailablemeens to achieve certain ends. A quality press is guided by ethical values and these are sought for and ojf~hemse]ves.

if Here and in other developingcountries .. the concern for quality journalism has been echoed in various progressive efforts, peace building, anti-corruption. meaningful and fair e]€',dioIlS. In the context of journalist kil lings, CMFR observes that a more civil media and a press onentanontoward genuinepublic service mighr help to temper the resortto violence In Philippme society," De Jesus said.


'I I!'. ' i_l; '.

S tl'1Jng I,ega I ,defense

Filing cases in could requires legal service that costs money. In the past y@ar, OvfFR,. together FFF]', raised funds £01' legal aid to assist the cases that are already in the courts. Specifically, International media organizations sent aid. to help finance the prosecu lion of the Marlene Esperat murder tria l that had begun last February itt the Cebu 'Regional Court

F FJ requested the Supreme Court to transfer the Esperat case from Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat to Cebu CUy because of the fear of a mistrial due to the strong influence of the masterminds in Esperat's home town. However, the move meant additional costs such as the transportation of witnesses from Sultan Kudarat 1:0 Cebu as wen as their board and 1!odgin,g in Cebu, To aid government prosecutors, CWR. also financially supported a private prosecutor,

Apart from Esperat, FFFJ likewise supported the cases of Ro ger Martanoand Philip Agustin.

C IFR also hopes to promote a stronger interaction \0\ ith the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), membership of which is mandatedby law for all lawyers. The IBP said 'they were willing to provide pm bono service to deserving cases. It has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the National Press Club (NPC) so that its members can take 'Up such cases as referred, FFFJ and the IBP have also agreed ~o sign an MOA that the FFFJ can refer cases in the provinces to ][BP chapters in the area.

S,afeb; trainiug

CMFR has found that safety training had not been undertaken by newsrooms. Thus, FFFJ members on their own initiative had sponsored various Safety and Security Training Seminars for provincial journalists. The PCIJ and. the KBP held several workshops for Luzon and Mindanao j ournalists in the first half of 2006; while CIV[FR organized an /I Alerts H.eporting and Safety Training Seminar" for provincial journalists all over the country inthe second half of 21006.

Based on the study, it is. obvious that provincial journalists are narve of certain practical tips that can help minimize harm and remove fhem from danger. Safety I security involves organizational practices of precaution and preventive measures. For example, death threats should be taken seriously by management and the recipient, Such simple measures of changing routines can make it more difficult for stalkers to achieve their o biecti 'lies. Moreover, journalists do not report any threats received to superiors or to let employers know when they are traveling on their own to investigate sensitive s.tories.Working journalists also tend to take a ca valier a ttitude about threa ts to HIe. Any news organization would beremiss in its responsibility to its employees if it fails to' provide basic training in personal safety.


Tlte role of Ute Citizen. Pres» c,ounciJ

Since 2001- OvIFRhas endeavoredto help setup Oti.:ren Press Councils "CPOs) to

, "

promote pTess aGGountabUity by hearing out complaintsagainst the p.ress" Initially,

three press councils had been setup in Cebu.Baguio, and Palawan, However, it is only in Cebu where thepress council is striving;

CPCs provide a public forum for the discussion of media and rela ted issues, including the relevance o,f reports and the usefulness of news programs and publications to the communities they serve. Thepress council is alive and. well in welldeveloped demon acies Iike the N €therbrnds, Australia, and Great Britain, The Uni tedStabes eschewed the National News Councilbut press councils ha ve been organized by inw vidual sta tes, among them, Hawaiiand Washington, So have some provinces in Canada, Sweden has both a press councfl and an. ombudsman,

'Iihe Ciliz.ellll Press CO!I.IJncills, were clIealedt.o tac::klie and hellp lresolve m,ecil la lissues.

A part from key representatives in the local media, press councils include mem bern hom file academe and civil society, The incl usion of non- j onrnalist members has been designed to makethe grievance process more accessible. Ih,eregi:on~l CPCs are envisioned as growing models for replication in. different areas of the Philippines. The CPC can provide a venue for hearing complaints and recourse for offended parties"

#When~the press is freest, the press council should also be most useful.a! least, as a venue that connects the press to the public it hag pledged to serve,' noted De Jesus.

A public involvement in press councils, she added, "paves the way for an emergent community U1.aJt ]S trulymedia literate, <'I. public that can become more critical of flawed, inaccurate, biased andunfair report]ng and commentary, That public wilt in the long term. be the one to force members of the press and the institu tion itself to be held loa. public accouruing, With such a visfble process inplace, a public would see the purpose O'f the press 21:5 ne:oessary and would be 1110re involved in the protection of its legitimate function - the dtssemina tj on or i nformation that the public must mow, the expo§UJ::Ie of wrongdoing and bad policies topublic inquiry. At thE same time, those who opt to us€: violence will be shown as unwilling to work wlthLn the framework of civic discusslon and exd,l,ange."

Ed glar D!ama.l,erio: At :I,ast a collWictlio,n

EdgaJr Damaleno. a radio commentator for dxKPPagadian, managing editor of the Ztro:droanga Scribe, and host of the cable TV program it En[nven;:f;rc{" (Encoun ter), was gtaJli_Fled. down on May 13, 2002 while drivmg anowner-type jeep along a. street in Pagadian City. His two companions, Edgar Arnow and Edgar Ongue, we:re2lMe to get a, good ]00]( 011: the killer, whom they ],a,ter identified as POl GuJllenn.o' WapU.e.

D'aID~lerio'scasewSis widelv-considered as the


easiest oneto prosecute, since the witnesses, AJ:l"lIQOO

and Ongue, weI'€: determined to testify against the suspect ~hey had dead y identified.

IEdlga,1I' ID8rmaileriio

However, <lny hopes ,[0[: a prompt and decisive resolution were quickly dismissed, asalleged concerted efforts by authcnifies were made 1:0 cover up the cul prl is.

IFl JtU:l@ 2002f th€ police" led by then Pagadian police chief, Supt Asurl Hawani and the PNP Region 9 Divedm produceda "witness't to point to' another suspect as Damalerio's killer, That witness later turned out to be a. friend of WapHe.,

On. August 2f 20012., Wuvy Lobitana Oud Ladica in some reports), a local militiaman who was believedto have an information about the mastermind of the murder, was killed while on board. a tricycle Ill], Pagadian 01'y. Lobitafiahad boon. approacbed as a. possi h~e witness in. the case.

It WaJS only on January 30, 2002 'that acase was finally filed and an. arrest warrant issued, Two days before thJs" WapUe managed to escape fI unnoticed" from thrt near by Camp Abelon, accerding to the police compound's head, PTov]ncial Dim: tOT Pedrito Reyes. One monthlater, ~eyes was relieved from his post as previncial director"

The escape outraged the journalistic community, which ll1it]a.ted dia10gues with police officials ]].1 Mall.i]a, The Damalerio family also filed cases against Reyes and Hawani, for their allegedcmnpHdty Inthe escape.

In 20m, the PhiUpplne Dallylnquirep also began posting dally, based on the countdown operation of the FFF§, thephuto ofWa pile, saying that he killeda joumallstand wa s


on the loose. Throughout this period, Wapi].e was reportedly sighted in Pagadian and nearby places, but there W~I);; no apparent attempt by the police and other lawenforcement bodiesto arrest him.

Onl 'J when mBiny more journalists were HUed in subsequent years, with the Hum bers peaking at: 12 journalistskilled in 2003 alone, did the government and the poUe€' give s:i.gruficant attention to the case. On November 27, .. 2003, President Gloria. MacapagalArroyo announced that the g:Qvemrne:n.t wouJd offer <'I, Pi -million reward for the ca pture of indtvid uals who have killed journalists. President AnO'yO' specifically mentionedthe murder of Damalerio ..

Presiden t Arroyo also ordered the police to' create a special task force (Task f orce Newsmen) tolookintothe murders, Wap:ile surrendered not longafter, accompanied by tVI/O Zarnboanga de] Sur mayors, on September 13, 20M.

On February 2,2.005, the prosecution suffered a huge Now when one of the witnesses, Amero, was killed in front of the school where he was teaching .. Although Amore had been put on d1e Wibless Protection Pmgram(\'VPP), the DoJ did not get him. out of Pagadian, despite thee threats on his life. Ongue had also not been given. ad ditional protection and had to go into hidmg after Amore's murder.

By late february, the Supreme COUJ:t, in response toa petihon sent byFFFJ on behalf of Damalerio's widow Gemma, approved the case's transfer from the dangerous JP2Igadian to a Cebu Cil:y court, paving the way for ihf' trial' sprogress and security for the witnesses.

After several delays, the trial finally took off on June 3, 2:005 with the presentation of evidences and the testimony OF Ongue, which posi tivel Y' identified Wapne as the killer. The hearings ended August 25 with a no-show of WapHe.

The ql).].est for justice ]n the killing Damalerin finally came to a. favorable conclusion as-the local court convicted Wa pile to a life sentence in Cebu elly on November 29, 2005 ..

Gemma broke into tears upon hearing the judgment haruied down by Judge Ramon Cedilla of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC} Branch 19. The emotion was shared by Olllgue, the slain joumalisf s friend and key witness in the case" who sat expressionless, but nonetheless heaved a sigh of relief 2It theoutcome of the case.

The decision was only the third recorded conviction out of a total of 55 ca ses of journalist killings (as of D~oemb€r 20OS) since democracy regained its ground in the country in 1986-


, J ~

-=- 1f

But the battle was not completely won, as WapiIe"sl.awyers said 'they would appeal for a motion for reconsideratton, N onetheless, the Damalerio family and several journalists view it as a triumph of justice.

Although. UEe sentence actually merits just 40 years of imprisonment (reclusion perpetual, it is next only to the death penalty in gravi'ty.

"Even if if s just r:eC'lusicm perpetuo, we'U talke it," said FFFJ' representative and Philippine Press Insititute (PPl) executive diirectm, Jose Pavia, who witnessed the conviction. TIle case, he noted, was a relative success in comparison to other cases of slam journalists.

ill am interview with the CMfR, Gemma expressed mixed emotions at the outcome of the case, saying she was "happy with the judge's resolution, but it Is only tll!€ start of yet, a long process as the defense is expected to appeal their case."

.. I would like to thank all, especially the media organizations that never wavered in monitoring and helping the case of my husband, N Gemma said toC1vlFR.

IMa.rlieRe Esperatt: N'earing a convictioln Marlene Garda Espsra t, a journalist known ]11. her community as "Madame Witness/' was gunned down inside her house In fun vie'IN of her chiklren in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, southern Philippines, on March 24, 2:005.

Tacurong.City police chief Raul Supiter said a gunman barged into ,the house of Esperat, a colnmrust for the local weekly The Midland Rev:iR'tO,ar-ound. 7 (Manilla time) and shot her once' in the head in front of her shocked children.

Supiter said the gunman, who was accompanied by a couple of lookouts, 'CC1S111a]ly walked out of the house shortly after shooting the victim, He described the suspects [,0 be in their 20s.

The gunman,21,ctording to Supiter, even managed to say i.iGood evening Ina,' am." in Cebuano, before .firing his A5 caliber pistol at the' victim. A spent shell was later recovered by the police at the scene of the crime.


The gunman and lookouts were laterid.en'frified by witnesses as Gerry Cabayag with Estanislao Bismanosand Randy Grecia.

Esperat had a stint as a. blcu::k:"'lim€l radio broadcaster, She. was also €leered president 'OF Regi!on 12' s 'In-Media Association by her peers-

Espsra t finished with a degree in Chemistry In. Iloilo, where she met ber first hU.5 band radio journalist Severino Arcones early 19805. Arconeswas a hard -hitting commentator who lambasted local government officials in the said province. He, himself" was killed in 1.989 for his work as a journalist. It W,1;'IS Arcones w no stirred :Esperat's inter-est in using journalism as atool to fight ccrrupticn in the society,

Prior tohar work as a journalist in 1999, Espera t worked as a chermst.and later as a resident ombudsman for the Department of Agriculture (DA) .. Whil~ inside the DA, Espera t discovered that the ferullzers that the regional o:ffioe were givi~llg to the local farmers were ]11SuHilcient" inferior, and farcheaper than. what: was onginally listed at the official budget of the departmenf

During her employment in the DA Region 12 from 1987 to 2004.." she uncovered numerous cases of graft and corruptionpractices allegedl y cornmi tted by public officials involving rampant m]suseof public funds intended for the use of marginalized farmers,

She accused Osmena Montafi,e:randEstHd~a Sabay, Region 12 Finance Officer and Regional Accountant, respectively, for these alleged "corrupt" aetivities, Esperatworked on numerous cases, such as the unremitted govemment's shere of Govemmettt Service Insurance Sys~eI!l1 (GS[S) premiums of DA Region 12 em ployees from January to December 1997.

Esperat, along with several witnesses, also exposed the alleged delibera te buming of DA office in Cotabaeo City on May 7, 1998 to destroy thehard evidence in the cases against Montaner and his companions.

Inearly 21)05, MO]l~anel1' and Sabaypurportedly drew a. plan to permanently silence Esperat, This was revealed by ex-military intelligence officer Rowie Barua, who helped plan the assassination but later turned state witness.

"Unlike in the other slam journalists' cases, this one (Esperat case} seems to have a very promising outcome as ther€' is a clear identification ofthe masterminds and full moplEra tion from the wi tnesses," said private prosecutor N ena Santos,


Witibttlhe strong testimonies of suspect-turned-state witness Barua and the consistent pressure from the media otganiza.ticlIl!S, both local and international, the cases agairtst masterminds Mont2lner and SBlbay remain strong.

Bsperat's murder has been considered Q. real natlonal interest Issue, not justa press freedom matter. Montafier and Saba.y's connection in thekilling 0.£ Esperat, and the cases left by the journalist, couldpave the way for a deeper SCnl,tiny on the aUeg~d massive corruption inside the DAup to the highest posts.

Based on the exposes made and casesfiledby Esperat in. Ombudsman when Bibee was still alive/the corruption inside the DA, not only involves the two suspected slay masterminds, but also several lligh-m:nking national officials, inconnection with the so-called multi-million peso6ertiTizer scam.

R.ogelr IMari ilmOI: 0 n-910 i n9 lriial i n Manii~a Roger Mariano, 44 .. and. hast of the block-time show Roger M~~riano in Action at the dz:jC Aksyon R.adyo in. l.a.oSlg Ci~! was. ambushed and shot to death on the eveningof Jlllly 31r 2004 along BaJ:an,gay 23, San N :i.c 0'1 as; Ilocos Norte, Mariarto left his wife, Alma, and their eight children hnrtingand agonizing over his death.

Mariano was on his way home from his regular pro~:am on his motorcycle when the assailants attacked hun. He sustained 16 gunshot wounds in his headand neck In atelephone interview with the C1v1[fR_ SP04Bonifacio Ragotero, chief investiga tor R~ge!l" Mariano

of the case, said Mariano was found along the nationalread in Barangay (village) 23, San ta Cecilia in San Nicolas town, U0008 Node prevince,

Before his death. Mariano had criticized the local police's handling of the's an.ti~jueteng drivethough he did not mention names ("jueteng" is an illegel numbers gauJte.).Mari2lno also discussedn1B aUeged mismanagement and supposedillegal transactions of a local utility cooperative,

Prosecutlon witnesses later identified the suspects a.:s SP04 Apelonio Medrano, assigned in A bra provinceas member of the lntemgem:e and Inve.stig:al:io:n Division of Cordillera Region, and Basilie Yadao, Two other assailants have ye~~o be identified.


On. N ovember 16" 2004, the suspects were charged with murder before th€ Muniei pal Trial Court (lvITC) of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte,

After prellminary investiga tion, MTC Acting Presiding judge Francisco QnHala forwarded the caseto the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. On December 2, 2004, the Provincial Prosecutor filed information befoo€ the noms Norte Regional Tria] Court for murder chargesagainst Medrano, Yad~UJ., andthe two Iohn Does.

Medrano was arrested on November 16, 2004 while Yadao surrenderedtwo days later.Both were initlally detained at the Ilocos Node PIDoY]l'IJ:i2l1 Jail

Locals and even the media admit that Medrano, a ziati v@ of Sarrat jown, wa,s influentialamertg powerful politicians .in the province, The Mariano family and Ioeal journalists learned that the suspect WaS notorious for having strong pojitical links, M.o1L~ov@r,he had reportedly been utilized asgunman/bagman/ middleman of known politicians. Because ofthis, the Mariano family feU threatened that the suspect, Medrano, might be able to influencethe outcome olf the trial

Medrano allegedly provided poli tkians with it services" such as armsd goons during ejections. and gun-for- hiregroups. The polioaman was also implicated in the murders Of Vintar Mayor Eleuterio Mahanag and Mayor :Roge:lio Pambid of Marcostown,

Mariano, a practicing broadcast journalist since 1990, was known to be hard hHti:ng: and bold in.his expo80es..Befor@hisIrulraer,hetackled.m,egal gamblingin theprovince and ir.r@gularities at the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative ([NEq" especially the ]]j1U~ ti-millton peso foreign loans that would benefit on! y the directors.

A November Sf 2004 Iloco« Stm~dard articlesald that the NPC appealed to the President for a probe on Maria:no's shy since he was about to expose the scam at lICNECL'1It the rane of his death. The NPC said that a few weeks before he died, Mariano consulted Atty" Mac Arquillo - who eventually became Medrano's counsel- on the explosive documents he retrieved on rmc

Fearing a whitewash, the famil y requested the Supreme Coud to transfer thecase to Manila, the help of endorsement from the fFfJ t thepeti HO.n wasgrantedlast A prj], and has been raffled to Manila RTC Branch 54\. The latter ordered the immediate transfer (II detention of the twoaccusedto Manila City yaH on or before lu]y 28, 200'6., SubsequentlYt Medrano's lawyer withdrew from thee case.

f ermalceurt proceedings started OFt August Sr 2006 in Manila.


IPhiill'ip A'gustinl: .AUempb!dl whitewash

Philip Agustin, publisher-editor of the community-based weekly Sl.arline Times Recor-der, was gunned down in Dingalan town, AUIOf,1i'I province, north of Manila on May m 200'5.

Agustin, killed inside his daughter's house in Paltic village, sustained a single gunshot wound in the head .. He died at the municipal hospital less than an hour later.

In an interview with CMFR, town councilor Valentino Lapuz said the killing happened after Agustin reprinted a special edition of his paper on alleged missing funds of the municipal government, putting the local JIwyor, Jairn€ Ylarde, in a bad light.

Agustin was about to deliver copies 'Of the May 2=K 200'5 issue of Starline detailing the Dingalan mayor's alleged misuse 'Of funds intended for the relief, resettlement, and rehabilitation of the flash flood and landslide victims in southern Aurora's coastal towns,

In November and December 2004.. the town suffered massi ve landslides caused by typho'Ons, displacing more than a thousand families and resulting to huge losses in property.

Suspect-turned-state witness Reynaldo Morete confirmed that Ylarde wasbehind the killing. Morete alledgedly said he was told that Agustin had to be killed because of the negative stories he had been writing about the mayor in Starline.

Lapuz told Cl v 1FR 'that he and Agustin" who ran for mayor in the 1998 local elections but lost, were also planningto file graft charges ,against Ylarde,

Ylarde, on 'the other hand, denied amy involvement in the killirtg. He told CrvWR in Filipino; "Reports linking me with Agustin's killing make me laugh. ] don't have anything to do with it 1 was even surprised when someone from a TV station Ca Ued and asked me 'On the killing."

The mayor, however, branded Agustin's attacks against him as "politicallymetivated,"

"I was supposed to file a libel case against him because 'Of thearticles they had been wri ting abou fl me. Their stories were too brutal," Ylarde told CMFR He described Agustin's. stories as "malicious" and "libelous" and added that he was unaware that such paper exists ill the town until recently.


In their motion for reconsiderationflled at Do r s na tional office .]n Manila, the N ational Bureau of Investigation and Agustin's kin pointed Moret-e's dose relationship with Ylarde as a cause for the ma yor' S ]J rvol vemenr inthe case,

"l~ isa cardinal rule that minor inconsistencies are badges of truthfulness and candor for they erase .3.(iI}' suspicion Hlatnn:e~eshlTlonywas rehearsed," itadded.

The prosecution also noted that the published articles about the mayer's fraudulent handoo_g of tih,e town's calamity Funds w@Te a strong motive lbehindthe probable connection of Ylardeto Agusti~J( s slay,

Towncouncilor Valentino Lapuz said that Ylarde "wields considerable power and Infhience," because of his past and present positions ill the D]ngaI.;lrl.

Ylarde served as the chieF 'OF police of Dingalan andtwo-term vice mayor of the ssid town, before Wrrling mayor in 20014,

"Ibis case is not an ordinary murdercase. Itaims to stem the tide of media murders moti vatad by the victim's advocacy againstcorruption in government," said Nenita Mendoza. and Rosabelle Cruz, sister and daughter of the slam. ed]tm.,~espectively_

Agustin' 8 murder has been considered as one of the most pivotal cases. of slam journalists, as there has been a dear identification of the mastermind, who also turned outto be a town mayor in Aurora,

A yearafter Agustin was murdered.Ylarde turned himself in before a court in Aurora, on May 22, 2006, hows before being issued a warrant of arrest fCH" aJlegedly ordering the killing of thee journalist

Ylarde said he surrendered to dear his name and prove his innocence,

In a May 2" .21006 resolution, a three-manprosecution panel included Ylardeas II 00- conspira torr" in Agustin':s murder"

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez created the panel ofprosecuters afl'e]' the first prosecutor overlooked key evidences implicating Ylarde, and excluded rum in the murder charges,

The family of the journalist has appealed for justice and a "fair reseal u non" from the new prosecution panel. Arradgnmsnt followed on May 24, two days afterYlarde's surrender. The trial was reset afterrwo weeks, when witnesses agamst the mayor failed to turn up.


xevented wltnesses from app@aring at the trial as they were ; tmeats, as Ylarde casts po]iHcaI influence in the said area, Lapuz otice was given regardmg the arraignment, which came two days :;1:.

2:" Baler RTC Branch 66 Judge Armando Yanga had repeatedly rof Ylarde, This was confirmed by the state prosecutors handling

e f.amily andFFFJ filed a petition at the Supreme Court for the ? to MaIDla, 'to assure a relativel y fairer trial and safer ven ne for

lad been an attempt to resol ve the case in favor of the accused, fa ble soureemside l1ll'le Do J. In fact, the judge has vehemently J. of the prosecu tors to Inhibit him from proceeding with the trial petition to transfer the case's venue,

he Supreme Court approved the transfer of the case 1:0 a Manila :.' although Ylarde appealed to reassign the case instead, to Nueva Is1L west of Aurora.

II: Case stillE pelild i"'91

ernando "Dong' Batul was killed May 22r 2006, about 2(}OI meters .tan on dyPR, where he worked in

. ty.

gunmen immediately fled aboard ~,Batun was taken to the nearest eclared dead om. arri vat,

van provincialpolice chief Blpidin en opened fire using 9~mIDand A5 ~ Batul Iz times. Initial probe by ~gested that the gunmen could be

sins, Fe;rnando Batul

puJaxhard-hitting radio commentator in the Palawan Broadcasting R where he' had hisearly morning program, /I Ba$ t-m~ero."


Although t and Batul's progr,am.

Batul was J Besides cri' community

Although c lnvolvemer against Bat

Hagedorn. informatioi

The invest suspected g killers.

Just two d, Golipardo,

P:dor to 'ttU! his involve! Delfin GenJ

Initial po]i( 402nd Palav the former . in public.

A former V' after an ele 20M but 10

Ba tul baed. h his house. red ink wa "hold his h

Prior to th filipino Woe in Puerto P

Although the real motive lor the killinghas yet to be established, both the police and Batul's family said. the joumalist had made many enemies, because of his radio program.

Bam! was known to be BI. severe critic of Puerto Princesa mayor Edward. Hagedorn. Besides criticizmg local government officials and exposing illegal activities in his community, Batul also interviewed memleers of fhe NewPeople's Army.

Although confirming that Barul had been his critic, Hagedorn immediately denied involvement inthe murder. Several. years: ago, the mayor' filed several libel cases against Batul when the radio announcer was, still with RGMA Super Radyo.

Hagedorn offered a bounty ofas high as P2-mimo:n~o anyone who could give information on Batul' 8. killers,

The investigation on Batul's murder reached a. pivotal turn with the arrest of a suspected gunman and the recovery of several Hems allegedly used by thejournalist's killers,

Just two days after the Batul's slay' took place, the PNP apprehended POI Aaron Coll pardo after four witnesses iden tified him as Ba tul' s triggerman.

Prior to the Batul murder, Coliperdo was already in danger of service dismissal for his involvement with several other murder cases in Pueeto Princesa, said ChlefSupt. Delfin Genio.

Initial police investigation suggested that Golipardo, a member (If the province's 402"d Palawan Regional Mobile Group, had been liked by Batul's criticisms against the former, Bawl s commentaries allegedly tackled the officer's alleged gun-fIa unting in public,

A former vice mayor of Puerto Princesa, Ba.~l's termwas cut short by a Y'@i'u:in2003 after an electoral protest ruled in favor of his rival" Lucile Bayron, He ran again in 200'4 but lost '~O incumbent Bayron. '

Batul had initially raised an alarm last Aprii124 alter discovering two grenades inside his house. Local policewere able to detonate the bombs. A death threat penned in red ink was also found In front of Batul's residence, wanting the broadcaster to "hold his tongue" or his family would" suffer harsh consequences:"

Prior' to the attack, Batul had also been commentating On the phght of overseas Filipino workers allegedly being maltreatedin Taiwan, as wen as illegal recruitment in Puerto Pdncesa,.. which involveda police officer.


Attack.s aglains -,and threats to media p,ractiltiioner,s

by Nathan Lee

O ften touted 21Sa1110ng the freest in Asia, the Philippine press has witnessed I~n,' .the las. J, fi . .ve ye, ars a disturbiI, l,g ... ' in, crease in ,at,~ackS ag, ai~t,' and. .threats to Its members. Although the most common vicnms were journalists of the

community PllesS, the last two years have seenthat those in Metro Manila. can very well betargets of such attacks, too. its network of correspondents and contactsaround the country, C[v[F]lhas sought to monitor such deve]opmel1 ts and has. alerted both local and interna tional media org~oizahons.

Helle are some selected cases:


Radioa.II.110Iu:nceil" ill critical condition

A lccal radio announcer was shot by unidentified men on May 6, 2006 in Naga City, 377 kilometers south of Mattila ..

Paul Manaog. of radio station. dwl.L, was hit thrice while walking with his wife, Rowena, along Magsaysay Avenue.

Manaog is presiden t of the Camarines Sur Capitol Press Association. The radio station wherehe works. is owned by the famHy of Rep. Luis Villafuerte of Camannes SUL

Accordingto his wife, Manaog is in critical conditkm, He was taken to the nearby Saint John Hospital and later transferred to the Bieol Medical Center-

Rowena said her husband might have been the target of people he had criticized in his radio program"

Investigation showed tha,t the victim was a pproached by five uniden titled men who shot him with 9ml1lm pistols . Police also founda "45~ahber]Jis~ol and said this could have been accidentally dropped by on.e of the suspects while fleeing aboard OIj'eepney.



'ColI.llcllor "eats up, journalist

A TV host and ta bloid columnist In Laguna (30kl]ometers south ()if Manila) was ~1epm~BdJy mauled by a c:i.ty councilor on May 16, '2006.

local jeurrtalist Iring Maranan was allegedly assaulted by San Pablo City Councilor Edgardo .Adaj'M while covering the lfegular session OF the city council Maranan said the Incident was caught on video and witnessed by about a hundred people, including other San Pablo-based journalists, reported the incident to the police and said he was consjdering a charge of slight physical injury against Adajar.

TIle journalist has criticized allegedly oarrupt local public officials and reported on suspected anomalies in the city govenunent_

In 2005, Maranan filed adrrurustratl ve andcrirninel charges before the Ombu dsman against Adajar and 13 others, including Mayor Vicente Amante, Vice Mayor Lauro Vidal and seven other city councilnrs, The case was about an irregular land deal wh jch cost the local govert'Llllen f millions of pesos.

A member of the laguna chapter of the NUJPF Maranan was host of the public affairs program "S.apul~ WaJang SabZi:"ly {Hit on Target}" on Channel 17 of the local cable network in San Pablo, He also writesa column for the weekly tabloid Ratsada Belit».

OaW'ao· publlsb'er"editor sho,t

A publisher-editor of a local newspaper was crrtically wounded after two unidentified men shothim . four times in Tagum City, Davao, on Ianuary 29, 2005.

Maximo Quindao, editor and publisher of the Tagum City-based Mindanao TnJckrw'w5, was about to leave hls office a little past 9 a.m., when he was attacked by two men on a plateless red Honda motorcycle. Quindao sustained four bullet wounds in the chest.

Quindao's colleagues, who heard the gunshots, said their publisher managed to get back to the office, dose the front door, and call for help .

. Police said witnesses described one of the assailants as tan whtle the other was short

Quindao was taken to Tagum Doctors Hospital but was latertransferredto Davao Regional Hospital for surgery.


Earlier that day at around 7 a .. Il:1., two men ona motorcycle were seen at a nearby store looking up at the Trucknews office.

NUW said Quindac's colleagues believe that the attempt on the publisher's life might have had something to do with his work. News reports quoted Quindao's wjf'e as .saying that the shoctlng might have been in retaliation for her husband's recent col umns criticizing a high-ranking public official

Quindao worked for U years as a reporter for Bombo Radyo befor€ putting up Truckrl"ews in 20m .. He wrote columns on corruption, poor government service, and illegal logging, according to NUJP Davao del Norte.

IKID'N_APPINGI DIS.APPIE~RANICE AIIJ'lora ,radio, IJroa,deast,er ablrluctetl

A radio broedcaster worldng for a JflOn~governme]lt organization was reportedly kidnapped on March 3, 2006, in Baler, Aurora pllOvince, about 150 kilometers northeast .of Manila.

Joey Estriber.a cornmentator of radio station dz}O in Baler, was taken by unidentified. men at around 6:30 p.m. near an internet cafe,

According to witnesses, Estriber managed to cry for help be ore he was forcibly taken into a van by four unidentified men.

HOUlS afL'ell the abd uction, some of his colleagues recei ved a text message purportedly

" f r._ -b It id b "_1111 _ h dI" t hidi t:

coming rom ' .. Sat' e was au ngnt ... an m JUSt- ' Ulg_

Estriber's colleagues believe, however, that the message carne from his kidna ppers. They have not heard anything from him since the abduction,

Estriber hosted "Pag~usapa'l1 Na tin (tel" s Talk Abou t It)," a radio. progt am supported by a church-founded, non-government organization called Batarjs. The NODI described as an "institution for basic sectors," was reportedto have made enemies among the local milt tary and police.

Newspaper reports said that Estriber criticized corruption .involving the police and the military, Estnber was an active church worker and community leader/member of Bataris, according to colleagu€ and friend Tonette Orejas of the Pllilippine Daily

Inquirer. .


A Bataris building was burned down last December andtwo of its staff members were nearly abducted in the same month, ill February, an unnamedmilitary officer claimed on radio that members of non-government organizations like Ba taxis were in the m:iHteu:y' 50 /I order of battle,"

A na tional broadcasters' fed-era tion, the Kapisanan ng m,ga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, had sought the help of PNP's Task Force Newsmen for the immediate rescue of Estriber,

As of press time, Estribertemalns missing,


MagazIne edit,or receives a 'wl'eat,f1

A magazine editor received a disturbing threat on August 2,2005, apparently for writing stories against the military.

Glenda Gloria, managing editor of the Manila-based magazine Newsbreak, said a wreath intended for the dead was sent to her house in Quezon City, just east 'Of Manila, at around 8:30 p.m. The wreath said: "Condolence from your loving friends,"

According to the delivery boy who brought the flowers" a man who identified himself as Gloria's officemate, bought the flowers and instructed him to give it to the editor personally.

Maritess Vitug, Newsbreak editor in chief; said the threat was probably a reaction to Gloria's stories in News'n'eak, which reported. on the alleged participation of some military officers in the 21004 election fraud in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ..

Inthe July 4,2005 issue of N{.'Y»sbret'f.k, Glot.ia also wrotethat the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Vilas the "number one suspect" In the wiretap scandal ..

R,ad;o sfation lIeeelves threat

A radio station in Kidapawan city, about 805 kilometers south of Manila, received a death threat through commercial courier on May 16, 2006.

On May 16,. 2006, radio station dxND-AM received from a certain Henry Laot of Matlna, Davao, a, makeshift poster withthe message" "Kan'Ultayon 5{1 nagus-pQda sa CPPI NPAj NDF. Aralsa ang -masa!,'" r'D~aJh to the supporters of the Communist


•• SbMiiIZmBI3f1W_

~ 1 1

Party of the Philippines/ New People's Army I National Democratic Front. Masses, revolt!").

Matina is a huge district in Davao and Laot's address did not contain a street or number.

Residents claim that they know of a Laot who was an NP A memberbut could not determine if the sender was the same person.

The station received the package around 2 p.m., hours after interviewing a representative of Karapatan, a human rights gllOUp based in Davao City. The group was leading a fact-fmdlng mission on a grenade blast incident that took place on May 7, 2006.

Krlrapatan secretary-general Kelly Delgado said their investigation pointed to the Army's .39th Infantry Battalion as the perpetrator of the bombing,

In 2003, a 'bomb was discovered in the radio sta ticn's par king lot.

Publisher th",eahmed alter exposing dubious deal'

A local newspaper publisher received threats after exposing a local government's project that allegedly involved an anomalous contract in Tacloban City, 580 kilometers southeast of Manila.

Nes lor Abrematea, pu blis her of The Tecloben Sta r, said he recei ved a phone call on the night of February <:Ill 2006 in Manila. He believed that the phone call came from Brig. Gen. Dionisio Coloma, a security officer of Tacloban Dty Mayor Alfredo Romualdez,

"He (Coloma) told me to stop exposing the mayor's projects or else something might happen to met" Abrernafea said in an interview with CMFR He said he had his. conversation with Coloma on tape.

Radio broadcaster Neil Globa of Aksyon Radyo (Action Radio) dyDL, said he had interviewed Abrematea regarding the issue but was not able to air the recorded conversation between Abremarea and Coloma because it was not audible enough.

TIle alleged threat occurred after Abrematea organized a conference in Hotel Alejandro in Tacloban lJ1 January 2006 where he exposed a supposed anomaly in the construction of Romualdez's 1'92- million public market building. He identified the construction firm as I1P Constructions which is based in Manila. Antonio Cruz, ITP engineer, however denied that the company was involved in the project.


CM:FR tried to get the side of Romualdez, but the mayor was not available,

,Abu Sa,;p',' se,lIds death threats

The terrorist group Abu Sayyaf (ASG) has sent letters. to local radio stations in Zamboanga City and nearby towns saying it will kidnap and kill top city and military officials, media men, businessmen" lawyers, doctors and. a university president

The letter. received on the second week of Novemb@'t 20'05, supposedly came from Abu Omar, ASG's information officer. Omar said his ,group has been morutoring its targets but he did not say why those persons had been. targeted.

First on the ASG's hitlistwas Vic Alvarez, RGMASuper Radyo Zamboanga program director and anchor ofa public affairs program.

TIle letter of Omar was the seventh mailed to RGMA and other local media outfits"

Provincial report,er sur'vwes attack

Three allegedly drug-crazed men hurled stones and hied tOo barge into the house of ill. provincial journalist working for a national dally. The incident took place just past midnight on August 11,2006 in Human City, about 800 kilometers southeast of Manila ..

Ben Serrano, a correspondent for the Manila-based The Philippine Star, was unhurt He said the attack. was probably intended to stop him from writing articles on illegal gamblmg, logging, and drug trafficking,

According to. Serrano, the men started' shouting invectives and throwing stones at his residence at around 12:30 a.m., which prompted him to g,o outside to accost the suspects.

Apparently under the influence of drugs, the men, led by a certain J aymark Logronio, a grandson of the loca] area chairman, continued to heap abuse on the startled Serrano, A policeman arrived. but instead of stopping the suspects, he turned to Serrano and asked him why the men were mad altum.

Another suspect, who goes by the name of "Dodong," pointed his finger at Serrano and warned him to "be careful ... your day 'Win come soon:'

Minutes later, policemen from the nearby Butuan City police- precint aniwa but they, too, did not' arrest the suspects despite their continued threa IS to kin Serrano.


Serrano filed a complaint with the city police's main headquarters and sought the help of the Star, the FFFJ, and other media organizations.

" As a. result of the attack, my wife suffereda nervous breakdown while my children went into [trauma]," Serrano said lin his letter to' the FFFJ.

AR5IaN~BOMB ATTACKS Radio sf,alion bar.ned down

A community radio station wasburned down by unidentifled men before dawn on July 2, 2006, in Baggao town of Cagayan province, about 320' kilometers north of Manila.

Radyo Cagayano, operated by political group Sayan Muna (Nation First), was razed to the ground Sunday after eight armed men weaxing ski masks forcibly entered the sta tion carrying bottles of gasoline.

According to Cagayan police chief James Andres Melad, the arsonists went to the dwRC Radyo Cagayano at about 2 a.rn and set the station's transmitter and broadcast booth on fire.

Mslacl said the a Hackers also took the cell phones of the six staff members, before tymgand blindfolding them. The crew suffered minor bruises,

Radyo CSlg2lyano, which was put up jointly by the local government and Bayall Muna" had been critical of the alleged corruption by military personnel based in. Cagayan,

Local groups denounced the attack, blaming the military for the incident The military denied that it had a hand in the attack

L.a'ltel' bomb .meant for radioman kill's boy

An l1-ye2lTaoId boy was killed and threeother persons were hurt when a gift-wrapped box containing a bomb exploded in Compostela VaHey, Sou them Mindanao, on May 13; 2005.

The bomb was meant for Lucio Ceniza, manager of Manila Broadcasting Company' 8 Radyo Natin (Our Radio) in Monkayo town in Composrela Valley, Hesaid the attempt on his life was a result of his campaign against illegal drugs.

Despite the incident, Ceniza, also the vice chairman of the Alliance of Ann-Drugs Advocates in the local community, said, "I cannot be cowed by these lawless elements. "


A report from the Philippine Daily lrtqui-rer said a. woman asked a tricycle driver to deli ver the package contamlngthe bomb to Ceniza' is radio station" but the broadcaster was in DavaoCi ty atthe time. The package was taken instead to the local viUage office.

It\n.1.en Ceruza was. informed by the barangay tanod (vmage guards) about the package, he immediately suspected that [twas a bomb. He said he had been receiving text messages warning him ofh,al"J:n if he c!0[iJJH:nued to taThk against drug pushing,

He advised the guards to take thepaclkage ~o UJte head.quar~ers OF the Army's 28th lrualI"l.h'ylBaUaHon but One of them. got cuneus and opened. it

The bomb exploded, kUling Marlon [amot, ll,who was about a meter away. Wounded w~n~ village guards Ruben Litangan 23, Ramel Perez, 34;., and Ramel Guitibano, 32"


Mayorth.reate.ns to close down Mindanao radi:o statio,,,

Accused of maU,gP_ing~he local government, a radio station wag threatened by a. town J:ll,ayor on April S, 2006 in Valencia CUy, Bukidnon, about 830 kilometers south of IYmruUla.

~n his order dated rvmarch 28, 2006, Valencia CUyIvffiayor JOSie Galario directed Radio Mindanao' s localradio station dx VR to step II airing commercial broadcasts or any adsp@ttahung totheoperation ofthe sta~ioln, without au lihori.ty or permit from the

I ] znt .~"

oca . govemlllteU, urut

According to Ga~alf]OF R1\I[N had vlolated city ordinances severaltimesandthat one of itscommentators used the media as a political tool to disturb the peace in the city,

Themayor was referdng to Joash Dignos, anchorman of RNlN' s"'Kuskos Batikos/' radio program,! whtch blasted Calario's alleged frregular activities and abuse of authority.

"Dignos is not a member of media," GaiH]O said angrily in an interview with the CWK ·''If hewantsto be a member of media, he should be neutral ill. presenting: his commentaries .. "

"vVhether a radio station is neutral Of not;" the town maym has no legal powern's to shut it down. Based. on Phili ppine laws, onl y the courts, the Natronal Telecommunications


," u

Commission (NTC), and the Congress have the authority to revoke a, radio station's license or suspend its broadcasts,

However" Galario claimed that he only sought to stop the airing of commentaries and advertisements, and not the closure of the radio station itself.

It was the second tnne Galario tried 1"0 damp down on a radio station since he assumed his government post five years ago. 1112003, he also orderedthe suspension of the University of Mindanao Broadcasting N etwor k' s commentaries for attacking his administration,

AccoI~ding to dxW's staff and several witnesses, Galario came barg]ng at the dam: of the radio station on April 5, armed. with a,gun. He reportedly called out repeatedly to Dingos who, at that time, was. airing his radio pI'Ogram. "Come outand ] will kill you." Galarlo allegedly cried out

Despite the tension outside his booth, Digrws said he continued with this program" "Yes; I was afraid but the truth is the onI.y thing I have," he told the NUJP.

Cota'bato FM sta'fio,ft lIarass,ecl by mayor

A local FM radio station feared suspension after a town mayor accused it of illegally operating.

Luzviminda Tan, mayor of Kabacan, Cotabato, complained to the NTC on March 31, 2006, that 101.7 Hot PM illegally aired commentaries despite its modulation restriction,

According to Tan, Hoot FM is only authorized to operate as a public address system for pubficassistance with music and not as a commercial radio station which also airs public affairs programs.

Station manager Ed Tinizo believed that the complaint really.had to' do with Hot FM's "B(mmga.ya.n," a public affairs prognnn that had criticized the mayor. Radio dxND Program Director Malu Manar {an AM stationalso basedin Kabacan], agreed with this 0 bserva tion,

Tan, however, denied these allegations, In a press, releasereceived by CMFR from her office, the mayor said, "The issue is whether they are operating legally or not."

But Tin izo said they had gilven the ma yoOl!' copies of 2111 the documents she hadasked for, He said they could not give her the originafcopies because these were being kept by the operations ma .. nager.


Ian ordered the suspension of operations of Hot FM twice in March.

Manar said that the incident prompted the local press to form a small media organization in Cotabato that would function Iike a local unit of KBP, the country's largest federation of broadcast nerwor ks.


Plrotojournailst held by military

After mis taking him for a rebel, a photojournalist working for a national daily was held by local police and military on October 4, 2005- in. Tarlac City, about 130 kilometers north of Manila,

R,ene Dilan, a photographer of The Manila Times, was responding to an earlier Up from an unnamed source about a reported attack on a provincial telecomm unica titan office; when members of the Philippine Army and PNP accosted him.

Reports said the soldiers and the police questioned Dilan for his possible involvement with local communist rebels, who had just peppered the Globe Telecom Building in the said city.

Army intelligence agen is became suspicious when Dilan arrived at the site just ill time for the attack.

In his defense; Dilan argued that he was 0111 y tipped off a bout the attack, but said the informationhe received was neither specific nor dear. "I was just doing my job," Dilansaid.

StiU doubtful" the military and the police detained the photographer for more than two h01J1I'S$ before releasing him.

However, when the police returned his equipment and other personal belongings; Dilannoticed that the memory card heused with lus d:igital camera in photographing the place of incident was missing.

He tried to retrieve the card but the military agents refused to return it. The Times reported the incident toPNP Deputy Director Genera] A velino Razon ..

Two TVjtJ1ul'lJa'lists deta.ined bytea'chers'

Two local television journalists were detained by eight public school 'teachers on September 23F 2005 in San Fernando Cilyf Pampanga, allegedly in an effort to prevent them from reporting corruption,


Lame OnbJf!Jg, news .supervi:mr of IlliO'l'Wla:x. 8 cabnete~evi5~O:IDl-.f and her cameraman Ignacio O['~jrlls Jr., we1'€! held by eight teachers oJ Smdalan Htgh School before noon, The two were Itakhl,g video f"OQtages ofl:he sch:oo'l, w1]_@re~hepl1'incipa]. Alfredo Sianen. had been accused ofcorrupuon and of p.hysicaHyabusn1g students.

In a complaint with the localpolice, OntO'11g and Orejas said theteachers, led 'by a certain Ari~l Garcia, p~ve:nt=>€!d. them from leaving the school .registrar's office after ~hey took Ioot2l_ges of the school premises.

Onto:'1g arnd o.~ej2ls had gone to g>E!'~the side of ~he principal about aoeusa tiOflSby the parents that he mal treated the students.asidefromallegedly ,engagm_g ill corruption, The co:rnphrint was filed a ~ the Departnh~nt of Education.

After fi@tting another date tor an interview with the prinei pat who was in a meeting atthetime.thetwn were aHegedly detained .~on:ibly i~.the office by the teamers who said tlrn;ey had nopermit to take the video cllips.

On~ongand O:rejas were released 20min:u~es later af~er ~hey souglliM the heIp of ~:rnel[ (1o]_lI~agues andthemayor, Oscar Rodriguez,

"It's it public place. We are a legitimate media organizanon, And we pr'opedy identified ourselves by w,@a[]ng our media UJs during the conduct of our wor k," OIDt~oIDIg saidfas quoted by The Philippine Stcnr.

lruomax is a l1'eg~s~ered media. m:ganiza 11:]0111. ,~ndmembe[ of the Philippine Cable Television Association. It is also an aUiHate of ABS~CBN.

,Local police' ell,iet .flsrasse5 cor:resp.o,ndent

A reperter covermg a demolition alofillg a national ~~ghwaywas aHeg@dlyhal'a8sed by a local police child onPebruary 9" .2006 in Malo1os, Bulacan, about 40 kHometen north of MM1Ua.

In ill complaint .fonvaI'd.edbo C1vIFR, Dino' BaiabQ, areperter aim:lLG. a. correspondent tor local weekly Mt1:buhay and The Milnila nTnes~ said Malolos City police chief Ma]'JJ.ue~ Lucban accosted him by twisUngMo of his fingers.

8a1aho was covering the demon tiara of illegal hOlUsmg ~tsbetlween ~he North Rai~ways system and. McArthur H~ghwa;y.


In an interview with CIVlFR, Lueban denied twisting Balabo'a fingers. Her however, admitted holding down. the journalist's hand, daiu:l!ln.g that he wanted to ease the tensionbetween Balabo and another man with whom he was having an argument.

PPI executive director and Mabuhay publisher-editor Jose Pavia condemned the alleged harassment.

Pres.itl'entia.I Pro,dama"ioll 10".7: Atfac:ks v.s'~ local m\Qd'ia

Severa] hours after th@declarationofPresidentialProclamation 1017, the PNP raided the office of The Daily Tribune around 12;30 a.m, of February 25, 2006.

!Fifteen policemen" who were members of the Criminal lrrvestigation and Detection Group {ClDG), took the mock-up copies of the newspaper's Saturday edition as wen as several story drafts and photos.

Inspector Jonathan Pablito of the Police Community Relations Cro,up based at the .PNP's headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City later sajdthe Tribune office "was a possible source of destabrlizationmaterials," He clarified, however, that they were ordered not to impede th@workofthepublication'seditorial staff and reporters.

Several staffers of Tribune said they were able to work but said they were distracted by the presence of the police"

Policemen from the national headquarters remained stationed inside the editorial and business of.fioes or the Tribune" whileoperatives from the Manila Police District havebee'l1 posted outside tih.,€l building. Several law enforcers were also seen. surrounding the premises of another pro-opposition newspaper, Mal C;Y0l, and its sister publication, the ta bloid Abantej' reports said ..

Presiden tial Chief of Staff Mike Defensor stressed that the government has not taken over the Tribune but that the ponce willkeep a "strong presence" in the editorial offices of the newspaper to ca u lion other media organizations from aiding those who want to overthrow the government.

Before the poficeraid early February 25 ... the publication has been reporting that several disgruntled l1:uUtary and leftist We're formingup to mount a coup against Arroyo.

On. February 24, 1006, lawyer and B'usil'lessWcwld columnist Argee Cuevarra was held b-y the police, along with other militant leaders and academicians, for allegedly inciting to sedition and leading several hurrdred of protesters in. Epifanio delos Santos Avenue; one of the main highways in Metro Manila, Guevarra was also the


0., I •

Th@ next day, 15 hours after the raid on. Tra'lun'e ,~hen PNP chief Directer Ge~eral Arturo Lemibao warnedthat the police would take over news groups that would not conform to standards set by the gpv~rnment. This was in accordance with General Order No.5 or GOS" directingthe country's military and police to lnam~ain "peace and orderend p~@v.@n:t and suppress lawless violence."

As implied by GOa,. reports or publications tha t hurtthe government by "obstructing gov.emance, il1l!dudJnghiuderin,g the growth of the &UrllODl.Y and sabotaging the people's confidence in govemrnent' would be subjected ~orev]ew and possible p[dl.ibi'l::ion. acc:ordingto Lomibao. G05 was made in pursuant to fP 10r7, caUif!lg UpOfil the militM)" and peliee to take direct control of the pelll!C'e and order in the country.

Lomibao said police would implement standards for medlar with a small group of investigators and prosecutors monitQ'rmgthe news.


A h\rQ-hour publie affairs radio pmgram" "Ngaycm .M, .Bayau.!"', was taken off the air by the station whe~e i~ was being aired, dzRF, allegedly for its pelitical criticisms of the government

'" NgOly<>11 J~a,Bay~,~J" was suspended on Februaey 2.41, 2;006 and eventually eancelled a week later. StaUon owner RamOlIil Jacinto said the show was killUed due ~o"poUHcal differences" wi~h Kodao Prod uctions JOLI <.t]1! independent m ulbmedia outfit producingthepregram,

The prod uction believes, howeve:r.,~l1at it was more than just political differences that prompted the sw:tion to act that way .

... Based 0]1 ~heri l1'Iing Q!f our suspenston,.. we have a strong reason to believe that the dzR] management :fi:naUy gav.e into pressW!@ from MalacaFiang/' Kodao said in a sta temant 0]1 March 19 ..

The cancellation was .ioUow~d by ~[il:@: govemment' s presents '!:ion of a hooded wi tness named Jaime f]lent~s who accused the production of being a propa.garrtda unit of the Cow_IDuXlist Party of the Philippines.




'fine producers believe that Fuentes's assertion might have beenan ·offshoot of its. recent interview with GrEgorlo"]Ka,Roger" Rosal, spokesman of the communist NPA.

In a statement prmted In the b1q:uir:-ers "Talk ef the Town" section last March 19, Radyo Band:~do (Rajah Broadcasting Network), dzRJ's mother company, said that "while the station respected ~iI1te views of theproducers (Kodao) and, in fad, gave them five y,el.U8 of free time even though o~:I1ter block hUlen;· paid for ttheir time, uN' . 'D .. . 1" 21"d ..Jlh heu d' erstand: , t... ~'1.. ]d .. . gayon na,bil'yan.. rn not au . ere to the UXI . erstan rug huatiLJL ~e program woui ,

str,[ctlybe educational, n

.VUp to this point, the program is still suspended," Radyo Bandido said, adding "there is 11,0 rrn_nJl;l decislonto cut :11 completely, It It also denied being pressured by the Arroyo government

An article in UltE! Philippine l(Jurntllisrn l~evie:w written in September 2001 quoted then stahon mall1a"ga De.r:umy Munoz as saying, "['fheprograru.]~ is an offshoot of People Power 2, With the Estrada. administration, f:illagang 'yan.g mgtl kabulukan ni Estrada, gustong pala~filsfn do(}n."

B~t now withthe Arroyo government" Munoz also said, "We serve as the watchdog" So any erring official.v, aatakihi1~ natiJ~, on the issues, Walang persrJl'lfll'aHtffabaho tang. "

/I Ngaycm nfl, Baya:n rit" which aired daily from Monday to' Fr]day, wOJ1~he 1< lEW Golden Dove Award for Best Public Affairs Program for Radio ill Metro Manila (2Q0.2) and was a consistem f:in,;~Jis.t inthe CatholicMass Media Awards; (200.1-.21005).

V;:d'eocover:age in city eouneils1essions barred

The dty conned OfSM Pablo, Laguna, hasbarred video ciOv!erage of Its meetings and seSS]0118.

lEI a resolufton dated Fe bruary 2.1" 2006, the San Pablo Oil)' Council, headed by Vice Mayor LaUl110 Vtdal, banned the "video 0ov,erage msidethe session ha.n during the regular and special sessions of~he Sangguniang Panlunsod (Gty Council) ... as well as during its committee meetings and ensure a more efficient andnonbiased presentation of discussiens to the ge[1leral public through the tn-media,"

Under the resolu tion, the local government's City Informa HO[J[. Office would be given the" sole authority to provide video co'verage" of the council meeting.s"

I '[I' II

It was the first time that fhe local government sought to limit the coverage of journafists. Prior to the resolution, two cable television stations operating in San Pablo- Telmarc and Celestron - regulady covered the council's sessions and pub] ic bearings.

Banzuela believed that the banning of the coverage stemmedfrom the local media's coverage of the council voting on the Issues ofland buying and the Uquida Hart of goverl1.l.nent funds.


Article 353 of the Revised Penal code defines libel as a a public and malicious irnputation of a crime' or a vice ot defect; real or iE[mginaEY, or any act, omission condition, status or circumstance fending to cause the dishonor; discredit, or contempt of a na tural 01' juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.'

Article 354 declares that II every defamatory imputation is presumed to he malicious, even if it be true" exceptwhen it is made ina privat€ communication to Mother person in the performance of any legal, moral. or social dn ty; and when it is in a report on "any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings ... or any ad performed by pu blic officers in. the exercise of their functions,"

Unlike American jurisprudence, Philippine laws presume malice in any defamatory speech,

Articles 355, 356,357, 358 and 359 contain a list of penalties for various degrees of libel and imprisonment of at least six months to a maximum of six years"


The POT was sued for five counts of ll be] by a controversial a udio technician, The charges were filed on March 27., 2006 in Quezon City.

In his latest complaint against POJ, e'l1ginee.r Jonathan Tlongco said he was "being harassed by PCIl/' referring to a. recent appearance by executive director Sheila Coronel in a Senate hearing on March 14L

Coronel told members of the Senate Committee on justice and Human Righ~s how the Quezon City police, along with Tiongco, tried but failed to secure a warrant to search the PCI} office. In. his latest complaint-affidavit, Tiongco said he never applied for a search warrant. He made the denial even as he and three policewomen were seen by journalistsand the PCIl lawyer at the office of RTe Judge AlanBalot on March 13.


A week earlier" Tiongco filed separate cases of perjury and obstruction of justice against the Same organization, In those complaints, Tiongco said thePCIJ was harassirtg him and. his family so that hemay not testify infavor ofthe govemmerlt PO} has nine libel suits as of Ju]y 2006, seven coming from Tiongco,

Also included in the libel suit were nine other media execu fives and their reporters who, Tiongco claimed, published and aired what he caned "libelous quotations" fromthe pal. Named respondents were.Letty Magsanoc, Isagani Yam bot" Norman Bordadora, and Philip Tubeza of the Inquirer; Maria Ressa Luchie Cruz-Valdez, and Lynda jumilla 'Of ABS-CBN; and Katrice Jalbuena and Ronnie Calumpita of Times.

The suit was also the' fourth li bel Charge filed by Tiongeo against A BS-CBN. Tiongco's complaints ranged from inciting 'to sedition to libel against Ul@PCIj since 20.05. Tiongeo was tapped by then Environment Secretary and now Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor on August 12, 2005 to prove that tbealleged wiretapped conversations were between embattled President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Eli former elections commissioner,

The said audio recordings, popularly known as "He no, Gard," allegedly contained strong proof that Arroyo rigged the presidential elections illl.2004.

reI] had posted these recordings in its blog, In March .2006, J ustioe Secretary Ra ttl Gonzalez "has spoken and announced that the PCIJ (was) being monitored for illegal posting ofwtretapped material which tends to incite the publicto sedition."

PFollincis'l gover:norsues 'hree talJlo.ids

A P50··million libel suit was filed against three provincial newspapers bya local highranking gov'@tnment official on February 3 .. 2006 in Cavite, just south '0 Manila.

Named respondents in tn.€! libel suit werethe publishers and ,€dHors of Katapat, Peryo,ri,iko, and Asiansttij' Weekly.

In his complaint, Cavite Gov. Erineo Maliksi claimed the three tabloids were responsible for the "malicious and systematic campaign to vilify him and the provincial govern:ment."

"In the middle of 2004, these tabloids started publishing articles whose sole ebjective is to destroy my reputation," Maliksi sald. "There was no single issue where th.ey failed to portray me as a corrupt public official who has no regard for the welfare of Cavi I@flOS."


Maliksi was referring if) a series of articles simultaneously published in the newspapers in the third quarter of 2004.

Katapat publisher Archie Gadang, who also works as a part-time broadcaster, said that the accusations of Maliksi were unfounded since all the articles that were published by his paper were in line with "their coverage of the various issues and anomalies that emanated from the use and abuse of Maliksl's budget and authority as provincial governor "

Among the scandals lila t Katapa toovered wel.i€l thee alleged compromised land agreement between Maliksi and a prominent businessman, the irregular purchase of heavy equipment worthP68 million, and the fraudulent disbursement of the 2004- calamity funds, Ga,dang 'told ClvlFR

P:alawa.11 commun.ity jou,.nallsts sued for .fibel

An editor of a weekly community paper in Palawan, an island southwest of Manila, was served with a warrant of arrest on May 9, 2005 for a libel case filed by a congressman in 2003.

The warrant was served on Iofelle Iesorio, editor-in-chief of Bandillo ng Palawan. for the libel suit filed against her by former PalawanRep, Vicente Sandoval.

In 2003, Sandoval filed three counts of libel against BandillQ for allegedly maligning him in a series of stories written by Tesorio in her column, "Kwe~lI.tong Puerto." Sandoval was then on his last term as congressman and was planning to run for governor. In the 2004 elections, he and his wife ranfor governmand. congresswoman, respectively, but both lost.

In a column she wrote on December 2002, Tesorio criticized Sandoval for his alleged interest in 'th~ commercial fishing business. Tesorio reported that Sandoval was blocking the approval of Department of Environment and NateralResources (DENR) Deputy Adrmnistrativa Order 17:.

To protect the SUlaU and marginalized fishermen" A 0 ]] had proposed to delineate the 15-kilo:meter mumcipal waters from commercial fishing fleets so these could be us-ed only by municipal fishermen. Tesorio said that it was known as. a fact that s-ome of Sandoval's family and relatives were into the commercial fishing business,

The first complaint filed by Sandoval against Tesorio was dismissed by Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor Primo Siofor lack of merit on February 119, 2004 .. The resolution said that public servants should not be onion-skinned ~7Hh criticisms from the media.


The second complaint Sandoval filed was for Tesorio's column in. the June 16-221 2003 issue of Ban:dmo listing the names ·of public servants and mnn- gov,ernmen t orgaruzatio:n (NGO) wor kers who had dome the best and the worst for the yeaJ:. Sandoval was listed among the worst

A third article, published in the June 22-26" 2003 issue of the BandinQ, alleged the involvement of Sando al in corrupt activities in projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works. and Highways (DPWH).

A contractor of DPWH projects in Sandoval's. district then came outto describe the alleged Irregularities in the bidding of projects from the congressman's fund,

Four months ea .. rlier, Tesorio and three of her co]leaguesw,ere slapped witll. at libel complaint by a controversial pearl farm for a series 'Of articles on reported human rights violations.

Tesorio, reporter Rowena Par, administrative assistant Maryjoy Tagle, and editorial director Yasmin Arquiza, were also Implicated in a libel case filed by [ewelmer International Corp. for allegedly accusing the company of kidnapping and detaining a Palawan leader, manhandling several persons, violating human rigl1fl:s, and committing grave threa ts with the "mtenrionto destroy the rep1lll ta tion of [ewelrner."

In its reply, the Ba:.mWlo staff maintained thatrtone of Us reportswere malicious and all the articles were based on interviews with credible and senior gO'V@ITUUent officials, as weU as narratives from human rights victims,

TalJloidco'umn'ist ,g'e"'s' 28' .)I8a~s 101' libel

A tabloid COllLUlliIJ11]sf was sentenced to 28 y,ea:J::'s of imprisonment after a local court found hiED'1. guilty of 14 counts of Ubel in Pasay City on March I, 200S.

Raffy Tulfo, whose column "Shoot to. KHl" appeared in th.e evening dally Abante Tonite, was also ordered to pay 1'210 million to the complainant, Carlos Co, a former officer of the Bureau of Customs Intelligence and Investigation.

Alsofound guiJ:1ty by Pasay City RTCJudge Priscilla Mijares were Tonite's publisher Allen Macasaet and managing editor Nicolas Quijano.

Go sued Tullio for branding himas an "extortionist, corrupt, and adulterer" in his column.


, L' 'I

The court said Tulfo failed to authenticate reports he received from sources and failed to get the side of Co. Tullo said he would appeal his case. But in a decision handed down in [uly 2.006; the Court of Appeals upheldthe decision of the lower courtconvicting Tll]JO for libel,


.Ant;-fe,rro";sm bills tll~eaten freedom of exp,ress;olJ

Starting in 200Q, anti-terrorism bills have been submitted to the Senateand House of Representatives, Different org,aJI1izations, including CMFR, raised concern that the bills "will unduly restrict freedom of expression." The bills gave broad and vague definitions to the word "terrorism,"

The groups caned on Congress ,., to review these bills very carefull y in order to. ensure that any anti-terrorism act that is adopted is in accordance with international and constitutional standards of respect for freedom of expression."


Oln IKiilllings 0" J,oulrnalis'ts in t,he, "Line, of Dut,y" 'TIER,MS AND PRIN'CIIPLES OF ANAILYSIS

By Melin da QLI i ntos de Jesus RSPRINTEI'l i'R.CIffl PJR .REP-QRTS. J,!Ip!~JAA'I( :2000. p,7

I n ~leir20(l5 smd}:: the Phili,: :PP,ines had garnered .. the di:s~-ep~table. distinction of beingdubbed as the most dangerous place for journalists outside of Iraq, by both the New York-based CPJ and the Parts-based Reporters Sans Frontieres


According to the CPJ report, 47 media practitioners were killed worldwide last year, most of them deliberately targeted beca use' of their work as journalists. "Kidnappers in Iraq, poll tical assassins in Beirut and hit men in the Philippines made murder the Ieading cause of work-related deaths among journalists worldwide ill 2005," the US-based watchdog said. CPT noted that the motive for slaying journalists "vas "to silence them for their criticism or to punish them for their wor k."

On the other hand, RSF,whose yearend report carne out later, reports a h:iigher casualty count, 63 journalists killed and 1,300 others physically attacked or receiving threats.


Reporting 0[1 the Philippines, RSF noted six journalists killed in ~he Philippines beca use of their work" w hlle several others were murdered for unknown reasons,

"Their enemies were no longer armed gr.oU ps 'but politicians, businessmen and drug-traffickers ready to silence journalists who exposedtheir crimes," said the RSF report

','\Illy do their numbers diner? As Sheila Coronel pointed out ina January 4 entry in the Inside pel) blog, there are manlY reasons. In the case of CPJ and RSF, one of the primary reasons is the cut-off date of thereport, cpJ counts only until October; wh]l,e RSF counts until December.

However, sometimes i~ can become more complicated fhantha t, Both CPJ and RSF count only journalists who die in the "line of duty." But sometimes, even that is hard to define. For example, Coronel points out tha fr the [{SF list also included school teacher Edgar AmoI1O" a. part-time commentator / reporter for Radio dxKP in Pagadian City, Amore was killed because he was a key witness to the 2002 murder of journalist Edgar Damalerio. He was not included in the CP§ list or that of ClvlFR, because n@ wasn'tkilled for his joumalistic work.

locally, it is CI\.1J1R that had first started counting the slain journalists who die in the "line of duty" as part OF its advocacy progtam to strengthen and protect press freedom,

The database! which begins in the post-Marcos regime (i,e, 1986) serves as a recordmg document. Moreover; it was designed as a too] for analysis 80 that we can. better understand th€ roots and underlying causes of the' pro blem as we-Has other factors eon tri bul"ing to this crisis.


Af~er almost 15 years olf IDPwto'fing. ~ released a s~"dy of the killingsthat [Iecogllized related aspects oJ the problem - the~eve~ of violence in the country that threatens riot only journ.aHsl:s btl~ other persothSrls welt weak law enforcement and an ineffectual and corrupt justice sys~em4 the ,culture of impunity, the lack of safety ttaiwng and other security precautions in lllany new-s ergarusauons.end the lack of eMl],cs and prcfessiortal training for memeers of thepress,

~y does the .~ist classify kmi~gs oif j01,lm2l]js~s "iu the line of duty?" CMFR:' 8< fOC~8 is on HlLe prac tiee of journalism, t~s· autonomy and freedom as wellas nile quallHy of its public service. A joumalisrmay be killed for reasonsther have nothingto do wUh his or her work, such as perSO'llal 'Or famHy feuds as well as com]kts involving business or othera.ctivi~ie,s not related to-the role olf~he press orbroadcast news media.

The nH:mU01' does not exclude <It caseevenwhen Ut@][l@: are reports about the pOOil' ql!la~ily oit the work of~he jQ1!lma~i:stkiHed, Qr otherjndications oi.f abuse ofjou:rnalisnc poweI~ COUiIl ptlon or centliets of mteTeSt. A broadcaster ID_ay be reportedto have been t!l!smg ru.s/h@frepods, columns, radiolTVpl'ograms for his personal gain. 'The good Or bad practice of journalism is not <.'I. determiningfactor. 111!€i caseis classified

, • I ~

as "in the line .off duly" whether o,r not the abuse of the joumahstic role was what

provoked the killlmg in the first place. The kllli:ng :i.s counted as "m the line of duty" for SiO long as CMFR. finds any evidenceto indicate motives related to the penon's <ldlli.v~tiES as .11. juulmal:istlmedia practrntioEiler.

V'VherrL does CI\1FR take out it case from the list? CMFR removes the case from this dassification when corroborated [€porl:8Ifindimt~ show Hilat there was strong, parnmO~IHlJt motive thal~ had. llo~:fut~ng to do with a person's joumahsm/media practice. So fa_I", since 2000, there have 01111y been two cases (If exd uston, based on police inviesUgationand CWR. interviews of the victim' s famil y and. friends aI1ld


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other informed sources. These include: a photographer who was also known to have been working as a police assetand a columnist who was involved in a fraudulent gJ]_]l sale.

The issue of who should be counted as a journalist should also be clarified. Anyone who works regularly in the media (radio, TV,a:nd print) in its journalistic aspects (thatis .. reporting, interviewing, commentary and! or opinion), regardless of the quality or status of the work, is included. CMFR has decidedthat henceforth, the list will be titled, "Journalists/Media Practitioners Killed ill the Line of Duty." This addresses the discomfort of some members of the press who question whether blocktimers or commentators withou ~ much training in reporting should really he caned joarnalists,

ill the Philippines, many journalists in the provincescannot li ve on the salaries they earn as reporters or columnists, joumalists who are also working as PR officers, or axe engaged in business or other professions such .. asla w are still incl uded as journallsts, even though they may be engaged ill. other nan-related activities, for so long as they undertake joumalisric/nredia work on aregular basis, part-time or fulltime. freelance or on staff.

Should such it person be killed", 'Ch1FR looks at how this other work may have been incorporated into the practice. In the case of Marlene Esperat, CMFR noted that she wrote on the issues that she took up in her campaign against corruption. Her killing therefore is counted as "in the line of duty." She is counted as a media. practitioner because she was a regular col UI1U'Ils t for a papar ..

These principles are reviewed and evaluated from time to time, according to the currentrealities and as required by changing circumstances that affect journalism and its practice in the Philippines.




I IlBItf! 01 !D~aJn
'1 I '198~-24
2 11'966~-24
J a
4 ~
5, 27
6 I 21
7 ~gS,7-Au!l-21'
·B 11987-AIJ!Q-2II
9 1987-A!J!!l"28
10 1 gS&-Mar,29
11 !"9S~2
1.2 '1'91l8-Oct-JO
13 1'989-Od-"11
14 1~'1
'15 1~JiMyo15
'16 19OO-J1j..OO
'n' 199'1,Apr-14
'~a· '1'892...),"1.0'1
1'9 199il-Se,p-211
20 1992-Dac-30
21 1993-Jan-H
22 1'996-iF8b-12
,23 1'-.o~'15
24 1001-Jl:ln.(I:J;
25 1007 -Dec- 17
26 111OO-Feb-15
27 1100I3-Mar-29
211· 11998,O~OO
2.9 1M9-Apr.25
30 2000-May-23
31 200O-Nu'I-l1
3.2 2D01-Jan-GJ
33 :2001-F,~b-24
S4 2001~·aO
3:5 2(iI1)'Z -May .13
3'i> 29!12'-i"-ug-,2.2
37' I 2l!IOiJ.-Apr-,28
38 20OG-MI!lIj'.17
38 200<3-Jruiy..B _
4C 200M'1UI!II1i!
41 200~st-20
42 2DO~8mber'-6
43 2IJID;M)~·ee~·2
a .2IOO4~e_b.lUlli'j.11
45 ,2!OO'I-JuIiil!i-11
46 2O!l4-J1fi 3,;
47 2(IJlI4.Au~[fl;1 s
4i'I 'ti!i12
4'31 1~15
~, I ZilOll24
51 I 2005·Ma,y·~
5:2 2005-Ma~ 10
53 I 2DDl;i.Ju! ... 5
54 2005-Navernbet' 18
!! .2DD~o~l'I1Il>c<2Q
56 llOOS-09!:ermar 1 GeQrge Banaoiaon dyDD J Cebu

IRubern R. ~)!Ie, lwoon liriihuLe I Bataan

I Se....moo Arwnas d;"FM-RadllO Bo11i1bo f liollo

'GIIoriaJ MBrtHn, dxXX lisaloela, BB!llIan

[l.;riet J, Heflnandez PeQjJla\!l. Journal T~jh' I QY6.Z:OO City

Odi!o~ Ma!rari· ct<CP I General Santo!! City

Edger Oamaielio ,. dllKf'. Zarnboanga So~, f\4ir4amao Gold Sra.

I J'olm Is.,;r~ \!1fanueva. Jr. ' dZGB f ~'I'

Noel VilIl3ranta' The L9\juna SooreldzJV I ~agulII!i

I Ju~n' JIJIii" Pilla (1)(80 I 0;)11',00 Giiy

Roweli Endrlnal dzRC, Me1ro,JNeW$ I Alb.iIY

EI~idio ·EI .... slooya MBC-dzRH lFisd\"f> Nalfn I Gi!1i,;r;:s1 Silf1ros ell\'

Hel'$Olf> Hinolarn dy[N / Ka!ibo\ Aldan

Marlene Ei~ti The Midi1ol'>!! Rl!'<i8w f sultan I<i!Jdaret

~1Ml Gantooaros dxAA f ~I City

IRo!i!OOo Morales d>;M[) J Geooral Sarnos City

I IFllcaroo uj'_ dzF:iS-AM I ~

GQI 2IOO6-Juty 1 a Armando "Raochman' Paoe d.OS f Digos. [}a: .. ao del Sur


F're'edlolml IFunld fo,r F'ililpino J1ournalist,s" Inc. (IFFF.J),


CI\.1fR is a founding member of the Freedom fund for FHi pinto J ournalists, Inc, (FFfn., It also serves as Us secretariat

The other members of the FFFJ are: Philippine Press Institute (PPI), Center for Community journalism and Development (CC]D), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng PiHpiIlIBlS (KiBP), Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIn, and Philippine News.

The Edgar Damalerio case in Pa_gadian highlighted the need for a fund aimed at he! ping victims of violence and the families they lea ve behind. Damalerto's son was only a five-month old baby when the journalist waskilled. \N].1iI,€! there was a good chance to prosecute the suspect in this case, as he was immediately identified by witnesses, the IegaJ process 008tS money.and Gemma, Damalerio's widow, did not have the means to take the first steps in filing a case in court.

The FfFT which. was Iaunched on J.anuary 7, 20:03 is an attempt to seek support for cases like this, as well as to promote public advocacy for the protection of [nurnalists and press freedom as a. whole.


Using CMF[~' 50 database On kiUings, the group has enlarged the forum for discussion of the problem and hopes to promote awareness about the problem within the media community as well as the general public.

Among the objectives of the FFFJ are to raise foods and receive donations for the protection of journalists under threat; to' provide immediate assistanceto the families of Journalists. killed in the line of duty; to act as a support group for journalists in distress by,a.mong other means, forming quick-response teams to investigate and report attacks against jourrtalists; and to follow up the prosecution of cases involving attacks against journalists.

FFfj' s advocacy promotes responsible journalism asa way of protecting [ournalists. A credible and responsible press creates Us own protective support from the community It serves, In the end, a pu blic weU served by the press becomes the most active and ardent protector of press freedom.

FfFfs actions have been. varied. On May 19,2003, FFF§ senta team from CWR to attend Pobeda's wake in Lucena City to follow up the case, A report 011 the visit was published in the then Philippine lounulUsm Review [now known as the PJR Reports). U has also issued statements condemning the killing of journalists. FFFf alsowrote to authorities to petition officials to follow up the cases.

Through the efforts of the FFFJ, President Cloria Macapagal Arroyo on November 7., 2003 announced that the govemmen t was offering a Pl million reward for the capture of the killers of journalists between 1998 and 2003. Also thrcughFf'P], House Speaker Jose de Venecia released the P2-million Press Freedom Fund in May 2006, to' be used (1) as reward money to help incapturing the suspects behind the media killings: and (2) as an assistance to the families of the slam journalists.

On March 8,2004, the Offic-e of the President issued a memorandum addressed to the secretary of the interior andlocal government and the director-general of the national police to in tensity the hunt for [he killers of broadcasters and journalists.

On September 2003, FFFJr·el,eased Staying Alivef a handbook which provides safety information for journalists. Distributed to journalists during a joint Cl\.1FR-J<BP workshop on monitoring a Hacks aga inst press freedom and reportingalerts, the handbook inci udes ins true lions on precautionary measures totake when reporting in conflict areas and what one can do in the face of physical attacks and threats. It also emphasizesthe importance of ethical reporting ..

FFFJ was also. Instrumental in the resolution of the Damalerio case-as it successfully endorsed the trial's. transferto Cebu City; resulting to a faster trial, safer location for the witnesses, and eventually, the conviction of the killer in 2005.


FFfJ also works in coordinationwith interna tional groups such as Interna tional Freedom of Expressionexchange (IFEX), [<SF, Article XIX, and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAlP A)" providing them information on cases in the' Philippines which they follow and take up as cases for special advocacy,


. I



The Jo[lowinglable pr,es91'1ls Itte standard Jor~t and infonnaliO,n reqiLiiteiTl!;mls for a JOl!malisfs Kmi~ or Threat Alert.

2. 1:Ype of vinlirliDIfl

I.e. ~rro~t. ass<is5inabilm, assault, ~maek. Dati. censorshiP. mBrge, death threat, aepOi'laliOn. dete.n!iGln. dis3'.,ppoearatlOB. limB. harassment imp.rlsoomenl. fi"ljur}'. kidnapping. leg~1 action, seizure, senl:encfng, euspension. OUler threat, torture, etc.

- name of nndi ... idlJ~I, publlealloo or O1IlBr Is:rge:t

• k:ll[HitiOCa~ioo of'Oictim [i.e, academk, camilriiinian, editor, repl;ir1e'l, newspaper ... ~dor. photograplher,IPl1bliSheF. Wfiter. etc.) or olher lYlle 0'1 laJ>gul ~book .. magazine. ne~peper, organ~liiolll. radiosta~lol'l, TV Sllilion. 'Blc.)

_. noatlooar~ly c.f ~icrim, pB1tiouIarl~' if WOrMflQ aDI'Oi!i(l

- if targi8t ~ {l media ootlGl or putJilicatibn, how Qften ls II publWhoo? V!lhD D'ffll8 and/or publishes II? Does lit li1a .... e pofitic!l! llffillatJIoji}S?

4. ViiQI~tl!1gl pa~y ~if IIln:own}

- who W.;IS responsible 'for !h9 violaiion?

Le_ pooce or security forees, go~~lilfltent minisbry, armet;l msufgenls, angfl! mob" ,a!c.

• Wllat pi\!JrnpiBd Ih.e villlil'bion? l,e, .an ar1icls. ilW8s!igati~n. political affif4ltloos

- is Ihe a~tacl<: d1early linkad to the media P'fQ{~n ora rraed\Jm 00 ,e'xp~sion issue?

- O~h!!'l delails of 1toe· case. l.e. h<'l:s lIila' victirn committed a \ifulenl ael Which aJqJlrunsli1e

cnargQ;j, a{ja-nst n-.em?

- lIIilal are Ine lagal and other re-aS'OJ1IS offered to ~xplail11t1e ... iolalion? wnat yut;ltificatlons do. 1100 '~iOla!ing party off!!'.?

• il legal ,charge!;. v.bat lega! Impllca!lons ,exist? Le_ l:ength of ff:ue proeess, pl'dbabl'9 oonviction. elo. - which law is OOiP)g used? Howdoes II relate to naL1or\al. rBgiO'nal or inte~tign!'!llaws, dedlBratioo~ and oli1eragroom8lJlt<s? ~fi.e. ICCI?R, UO.H~, ete.)

- if Ih.e l{.iC1jm Is dctainaod. do Ihe:~ have accesstc !~aI ~epr_n.Ia'Iion.. family, etc.? • <ire ihare Ipres! medical coooel'l'ls?

- if a I)lJol!ca.Uon is. banned. has its prOlpeny been eonlis>caled. damaged, atn.?

,6- W'~lte 'for all il1temat!O:!'!1II1 audiBIiI08

- define yaur ~el'linS - <i~·Did .S:lang

- choosB' words, 'that iffl~ be li'Mer.slood' worldwide, mit jus-t In ;y"Our own Coonlf)' or culture

• proVide ihB fullllllames of poli1K:a1 organlsatio~. mmremenls. etc., in addition to acronyms


IOOst alerts sh'lIIJutd be no more ihan ~ page In lenglh - 5-6 parag~apha mae, (~peaaJ reports are ihe e:.:ceptlon)

• prmooa gcoo moose 'explan1!IIOO'Is of 'Ilia k9y facls

- keep Ihe organisalion's protest to a mirtirnum - a brier Goofe, [mm lha mume or or;ganf:satJlon

- provide Qfi);gil!llli InvestigaliOri of !he facts r]X Ie[.itirn~ey

• \l'(jnf~'1ti9 illilfoDnmaOOlIl - 9~' tlhe (ads W;;lighl to a~okI sfrNs,l.UIilich can be (fea~tl'i04as

• If()COttnrrnmdeodBclioos ~OIJI~ 9Q' beYQGW pt'OlB~ls and lindmfe slrategjes for ptlt1liI'IQI pr=ure on ,a~lo!al(!f

- oibar ac1ion~ that can put ~es~U]\e' 00 a '~iolatOF should be e:.:p!icI1ly men~onlKl

Wlil;crn to 5BI1I0 IIppea~

allYaYSlincllJlde names, adclress!l<S. ami especially 'fBX numbers 01' govemmQflI Officials or approp!'ial.9 oon.-govemmenlBl bodiles to contact

- who ~ouldl rupj'~S of' protest le~:eI8 (i..e- QJ)'pool1lon par11es, alliB1 medi81. et:...)

- specify SOlnC!lS: rolle.a~es ]X family Qf' me victim. witn_s. lawyers, new!> repons, human right$ or;g~nisaUorliS" etc,

• eonflrm au!henlici~

- if posslbte, find .anind'.ependsnt source. Specify I~ Ine soor= is confidential and s-ttIte your eontidenee in me soaree, AvoidlJsing anonymous sources

Sh.OLJId dislribuliDIl ct jnfOt'mallon be resII1Cle(l?'

_. :;iJrce· there specirlt aclionsllilIk:h should be av;)!ded by ~(!er'S of fhe alert?

- remeHIDar 10 ensure proper fi;illow-UD' of iii ease, incllKling any new siglllificant in.foIm~tfQn as, II eeeemes available in an update



1 J I ~

Action A.lel"ts Checklist:

Before sending alerts to the' ClrvWR, they should contain, at rninimum. .. <lll of the following mforrnatiorc

1. When and w here:

., Place where violation occurred: D

• Date (e.g. 7 October 2004, not day of week or vague statements, such as "0'110 weeks ago"): D

2. Type of violation (e.g, arrest, assassination, assault, death threat): 0

1. Victim:

" Name:D

• Identification {e.g. journalist; writer) or type of target (e.g. newspaper, radio station]: D

4. Who was responsible for the violation, if known (e.g, police, rebels, angry mob): D

50. Probable motive for the violation:

• What prompted the violation (e.g. an a.:rtide,investigat:ion, political affiliation)?: 0

• Is the violation clearly a. freedom of expression issue?: D

6. legal o(IJ other justifications given to explain the vlolanon, if any: D 7 _ If the violation Involves a legal action:

• What are the implications for the victim (e.g. possible length of J<li] term) and I or for h.;:edmn of expression in general?: D

.' \\lhlch Jaw is being usedj: D

8. Does the violation have possible long term consequences? (e.g. newspaper goes outof business after equipmentisconfiscated, journalists begin to self-censor after aUack): D

In addition" the writer should be able 00 answer yes to the following questions:

1. Have an of the fads in the alert been double-checked (e.g, USID,g more than one source)?: D

1. Have the sources of infermation for the a Jert been identified 7:: D

3. Do the recommended actions, if any, include explicit strategies for putting ptessur,e on

the' violatorf: D .

4" Are the addresses for the recommendedactions complete with faxand phone numbers and e-mail addresses?. D

5.. Alert style points:

• Is this alert written using intemationaUy understood terms? (i.e. no slang. IiO acronyms without full names): D .

• Is this alert easy to understand 7:: D

• Does this alert contain information that is not of key relevance to the story, is it concise]: D


" ... The 'culture of Impunity" IprolYides a oomfort zone f,or ,assailants ,and their mast,ell'minds. The c:ultu re of ~ MIPunity aILbws mecha:!ilisms fol' kililings to go, I.lInpll.l nlshed. The prioe for shoo,til1lg a jOl:llma'~ist can be'quite cheap ii the hilwed goons iiI.nI' assured that they will not get ~ug hf iff 'the govem,men~ does ,111m u ndertake 001.118,000 inal)' m,eas 1lI1reS, to pursue ~iIil,e' killers of j01!.l rll1al isis and a,ctlvists .• it is, effectively wler,iI~i ng and, d one level,

facillitating ~lI.e k.i iii It is time' to as k~ lis Al,e' 'cullture' of imp1HlIlity" a matter o;f poU cy?"

- Melinda Quili'ltos-de Jesus, P'JR Reports J'une 2006, issue

"A cultllJl"e of iimpunHy Ireign,5, Jor whidn the highest government, authQrities ~r,e lresponsible, ~1D at h as; allowed killers an d those will 0 !il!'liId them to murdeno many JOllrnalists il!l every

co:mer of the oou~b'y." - -

- IRe;porters Bord\ers,. Mlay' 2, 21:105

"Far from ~[lilly intem.ational war iE,one, the pl\eas in thie' PhiU:ppilll1es did their ccm;bat duty at homll, where theyf'aced political corruption,!! breakd:own in law and order, and a wicklspread c!IIltur,e of impll!lI'Iity that vic~lence against jOJlnnalists."

- 'CommittN W Protect Journalists, 2004

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