Tuesday, October 27, 2020
More

    Latest Posts

    ICHRP on the adoption of UNHRC Resolution: PH gov’t peddled lies to the UN body

    The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) once again expressed their...

    Duterte now a known dictator with EU Parliament vote

    President Rodrigo Duterte has become a globally infamous dictator with the European Union (EU) Parliament passing a resolution on the country’s human...

    ICHRP mourns state murder of Filipina human rights worker

    Slain paralegal Zara Alvarez helped bring cases of Negros killings to UNHRC “We mourn the killing of human rights...

    Global rights group condemns state murder of Filipino peace consultant

    Assassination of land reform activist Randall Echanis designed to destroy peace dialogue The International Coalition for Human Rights in...

    Philippines: Most dangerous place for journalists

    by Robert Gonzaga, Central Luzon Desk, Philippine Daily Inquirer

    MANILA, Philippines—The killing of 57 civilians and media people last year made the Philippines “the most dangerous place in the world for journalists,” said Frank La Rue, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

    La Rue spoke at the Journalism Asia Forum 2010 at the Manila Hotel Tuesday, the first anniversary of the so-called Maguindanao massacre that included 32 journalists.

    The forum, organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa), was attended by about 100 journalists from Asia and representatives from the United Nations, Philippine National Police, Department of Justice and international human rights groups.

    A Guatemalan, La Rue has worked on human rights cases for the past 25 years. He brought the first genocide case against the military dictatorship in his country.

    La Rue said that countries experiencing a significant number of killings and harassment of their media workers “should first acknowledge that there is a problem” before the UN can step in to extend help.

    Weak justice system

    Rue said events like the Maguindanao massacre could be attributed to a weak justice system, negligence by the state to investigate and prosecute people behind such crimes, and an active policy of suppression and censorship.

    But Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III disagreed with La Rue’s view that the Philippines was the most dangerous place for media workers.

    “The Maguindanao massacre is the deadliest attack on the media, but most definitely the Philippines is not a killing field for journalists. Iraq is number one,” Baraan, who also spoke at the forum, told the Inquirer.

    A check with the website of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ impunity index placed Iraq and Somalia on the top two spots, respectively, with the Philippines coming in third.

    Baraan, however, said La Rue’s observations on the Philippines’ justice system were generally accurate. He said that the Department of Justice should be actively involved in crime investigations.

    “We are very interested in sitting down with Mr. La Rue and obtaining the UN’s assistance,” he said, especially in the technical aspects of crime fighting and training of investigators.

    Unsolved murders

    Nestor Burgos, chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said the country ranked high among the most dangerous places for media workers even before the massacre in Maguindanao.

    He said of the 143 murder cases of media workers that the NUJP had recorded since 1986, there had only been seven convictions.

    Jose Manuel Diokno, chair of Free Legal Assistance Group, said filing suits was “not enough” to end impunity or the failure of the state to punish perpetrators of violence and human rights violations.

    Diokno said Congress should craft a law and the Supreme Court should amend the rules of court to enforce a mechanism for preserving the testimony of witnesses.

    With public prosecutors either bribed or intimidated and the courts and the Office of the Ombudsman “notoriously slow” in processing cases, Diokno said witnesses were unable to do their duty to testify. With a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

    Latest Posts

    ICHRP on the adoption of UNHRC Resolution: PH gov’t peddled lies to the UN body

    The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) once again expressed their...

    Duterte now a known dictator with EU Parliament vote

    President Rodrigo Duterte has become a globally infamous dictator with the European Union (EU) Parliament passing a resolution on the country’s human...

    ICHRP mourns state murder of Filipina human rights worker

    Slain paralegal Zara Alvarez helped bring cases of Negros killings to UNHRC “We mourn the killing of human rights...

    Global rights group condemns state murder of Filipino peace consultant

    Assassination of land reform activist Randall Echanis designed to destroy peace dialogue The International Coalition for Human Rights in...

    Don't Miss

    HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PERPETUATED BY PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT

    Statement of the High-Level Delegation of church, union, political, and foundation leaders on extreme human rights violations occurring in the Philippines 1. High Level Delegation  From...

    PCPR-HK Statement on Red-tagging

    TERRORIST TAGGING ONLY STRENGTHENS NCCP’s FAITH IMPERATIVES TO SERVE THE POOR, THE DEPRIVED AND OPPRESSED  The Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response-Hong Kong Chapter (PCPR-HK) vehemently...

    Urgently withdraw “red-tagging” of National Council of Churches of the Philippines, restore the peace talks

    November 7, 2019 Ret Maj Gen Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary, Dept of National Defence DND Building, Segundo Ave. Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Quezon City, Philippines 1110; Email: publicaffairs.dnd@gmail.com Urgently withdraw “red-tagging” of National...

    Asia Pacific Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines Condemns Mass Arrest of Activists in Negros and Metro Manila

    4 November 2019 Asia Pacific Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines Condemns Mass Arrest of Activists in Negros and Metro Manila The Asia Pacific Coalition...

    Condemn mass arrest of 57 unionists and social activists in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

    November 5, 2019 Hon Michelle Bachelet United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland E-mail: registry@ohchr.org Condemn mass arrest of 57 unionists and social...

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.