DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Philippines continues to be one of the countries with most number of unresolved cases of journalist’s murders in the last 10 years, according to the 2019 Global Impunity Index by international media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The 13 countries on the list, CPJ explained, “represent a mix of conflict-ridden regions and more stable countries where criminal groups, politicians, government officials, and other powerful actors resort to violence to silence critical and investigative reporting.”
“Unchecked corruption, ineffective institutions, and lack of political will to pursue robust investigations are all factors behind impunity, ” CPJ has found.
Somalia was the world’s worst country “when it comes to prosecuting murderers of journalists” for the fifth year in a row in the ranking with 25 killings– based the no. of cases as a percentage of each country’s population.
Meanwhile, Syria was 2nd and Iraq 3rd on the index.
The Philippines placed fifth in the list, with 41 unsolved journalist murders and has been among “the worst five countries nearly every year since the index was first published in 2008”.
The New York-based media watchdog noted that the country’s ranking is in large part due to the Nov. 3, 2009 Ampatuan massacre, which claimed the lives of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists and media workers.
The trial of the case has been concluded in August but no verdict has been handed down yet.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has also started a month-long campaign to call for justice for victims of the Ampatuan massacre, which happened a decade ago next month.
Other countries included in CPJ’s 2019 Global Impunity Index are South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia, Nigeria, and India.