New York, May 8, 2012--Authorities in the Philippines must investigate the murders of two journalists in the past two weeks, determine the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, March 13, 2012--After reviewing evidence in the 2011 killing of journalist Gerardo Ortega, the Philippine Department of Justice on Tuesday recommended that murder charges be filed against ex-governor Joel Reyes in the local courts, news reports said. In doing so, the department reversed an earlier decision not to pursue charges against Reyes.
Although the accused triggerman, Marlon Recamata, named Reyes in the murder, a June 2011 Department of Justice investigation found his statement unsubstantiated, news reports said. Ortega's supporters submitted new evidence a few weeks later and petitioned for the department to re-investigate, reports said. After reviewing the evidence, the department issued a recommendation on Tuesday for murder charges to be filed against Reyes in the Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa City, according to news reports.
New York, March 12, 2012--Philippine authorities must immediately launch an investigation into the shooting of journalist Fernan Angeles, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ is investigating the motive in the attack, which left the journalist hospitalized in critical condition today.
The global rate of unpunished murders remains stubbornly high at just below 90 percent. Senior officials in the most dangerous countries are finally acknowledging the problem -- the first step in what will be a long, hard battle. By Elisabeth Witchel
Nearly two years since 32 journalists were murdered, the fight for justice has both intensified in rhetoric and bogged down in technicalities. Without a greater commitment of resources, the litmus test is one the Philippines could fail. By Shawn W. Crispin
Murders decline, but fatalities rise during coverage of protests. Photographers and freelancers pay an especially high price. Pakistan is the world's most dangerous nation.
Despite high levels of press and Internet freedom, provincial journalists worked under constant threat of reprisal. Two broadcast journalists, Gerardo Ortega and Romeo Olea, were shot and killed for their reporting. Both cases were unsolved by year's end, underscoring the country's third worst ranking on CPJ's 2011 Impunity Index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of a country's population. The vow of President Benigno S. Aquino III to reverse the trend went unfulfilled as legal proceedings in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, in which 32 media workers were ambushed and slain, stalled amid numerous defense motions to disqualify witnesses and suppress outside scrutiny. In another high-profile case, an appeals court denied a dismissal motion filed by two government officials accused of plotting the 2005 murder of reporter Marlene Garcia-Esperat. Although the decision cleared the way for arrests, the long-running prosecution has been beset by delays. Press advocates were critical of a new freedom of information bill, which they said would curtail access to official documents.
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1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
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