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Intl media group urges govt to address abuse of media workers

An international media group on Monday demanded prompt action from the Philippine government for two alleged abuses against media workers last week.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) sought the immediate arrest of men who allegedly shot and wounded Randy Makiputin in Valencia City in Bukidnon on November 26.

The IFJ questioned the alleged rough treatment that presidential guards gave Northern Luzon-based journalist Adela Wayas at a presidential event in Baguio City, also last weekend.

“The attempt on Makiputin’s life is reprehensible, regardless of the motives of his attackers … It is a shameful reminder that killings and attacks on media workers continue to be a very real threat to freedom of expression, human rights and a healthy media landscape in the Philippines,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said in an article posted on the IFJ website.

Makiputin, 39, is a broadcaster 0f Radyo Abante based in Maramag town in Bukidnon province.

Citing data from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the IFJ said at least four motorcycle-riding men ambushed Makiputin at 7 p.m. Friday.

Makiputin sustained a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and is now in stable condition.

The local police are investigating the incident, and are yet to establish whether the attack is related to Makiputin’s work with Radyo Abante.

The incident occurred only days after the country marked the first anniversary of the infamous Maguindanao massacre, where 58 people, 33 of them journalists, were killed.

Baguio journalist

Meanwhile, the IFJ said the NUJP’s Baguio-Benguet chapter questioned the alleged mistreatment of a local journalist in Baguio City also on Friday.

According to the IFJ, the PSG allegedly shoved Northern Dispatch journalist Adela Wayas at the opening of a fastfood outlet there.

“Presidential guards allegedly shoved Wayas as she attempted to enter the site of a media stunt featuring President Benigno Aquino III to mark the opening of a popular chain restaurant,” the IFJ said.

The IFJ said the PSG and police reportedly questioned Wayas’ media credentials after she covered a student protest outside the venue.

The guards allegedly asked Wayas if she was a “companion” of the protesters and prevented her from entering the venue to report on Aquino’s speech.

IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries. – VVP, GMANews.TV

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