President Orders Probe on Attacks Vs Journalists in Philippines

Apr. 19, 2007

MANILA — Describing the successive attacks this week on provincial media practitioners as “despicable,” President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the local law enforcement agencies to “carry out a swift and thorough investigation.”

In a statement, Press Secretary and concurrent Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said attacks on journalists have “no place in a democracy that upholds press freedom.”

Last Wednesday, Radyo ng Bayan field reporter Mark Palacios was found dead in Barangay Mapalad in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, with a gunshot wound through the chin and his body battered.

This morning, Philippine Daily Inquirer Southern Luzon correspondent Delfin Mallari, Jr. was wounded when two men riding tandem on a motorcycle ambushed him and DZMMs Johnny Glorioso while they were on their way to a local radio station in Lucena City.

Reports said Mallari was already pronounced out of danger after he was operated on to remove the slug that hit the left side of his body.

Palacios death brought to 51 the number of journalists, mostly radio broadcasters in the provinces, killed since 2001.

President Arroyo has openly expressed her determination to put an end to the killings of journalists and activists that she has created the Melo Commission to look into such cases.

The President and House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. have also put up a fund to assist the families of journalists killed in line of duty. (OPS)

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