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Philippines: Outspoken Radio Journalist Murdered


Philippines: RSF protests over murder of radio journalist

Murder Of Radio Journalist Who Criticised Local Politicians

http://www.rsf.org

PARIS (RSF/Pacific Media Watch): Reporters Without Borders today voiced dismay at the murder yesterday in the southern Philippines of Eliseo "Ely" Binoya, a radio journalist known for outspoken political commentary on local Radyo Natin in Malongon, and urged the authorities to do everything possible to ensure that those responsible receive an exemplary punishment.

Binoya, 49, who was also the radio station's manager, was returning to Malongon from the nearby city of General Santos by moped when he was gunned down by two persons on another moped. He died instantly after being shot three times in the back.

"Some hit-men have been arrested for previous murders of journalists but the instigators have never been brought to justice," Reporters Without Borders complained in a letter to Interior Minister José Lima. "As a result, the Filipino judicial authorities allow the instigators to continue silencing their press critics with complete impunity."

The organisation urged the minister to ensure that the police and judicial authorities not only investigate Binoya's murder thoroughly but also continue carrying out thorough investigations into all the previous murders of journalists.

Binoya had just brought a complaint against three associates of Malongon mayor Teodorico Padernilla, who had often been the target of corruption allegations by Binoya. He said in the complaint that the three men ­ Kolot Padernilla (the mayor's nephew), Bobot Toreta and man know as "Balong" ­ had attacked him physically on 7 June. He also said he had received death threats on several occasions.

General Santos police chief Willie Dangane said the three men were suspects in Binoya's murder and were wanted by the police.

Binoya is the second journalist to have been killed this year in the Philippines because of his work. Rowell Endrinal of radio DZRC was gunned down by two hit-men on a motor-cycle on 11 February in the central city of Legaspi.

A record number of seven journalists were killed in the Philippines in 2003, the highest total since democracy was established in 1986.

Julien Ferrat Asia - Pacific Desk Reporters Sans Frontières http://www.rsf.org

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PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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