No Word On Missing Radio Host And Environmentalist
Still No Word On Missing Radio Host And Environmentalist
PARIS (RSF/Pacific Media Watch): RSF has voiced outrage at the indifference of both local and national authorities in the Philippines to the fate of radio host and anti-logging campaigner Joey Estriber, who has been missing ever since he was kidnapped outside an Internet café in Baler, in Aurora province (northeast of Manila), on the evening of 3 March 2006.
"It is eight months to the day since Estriber was abducted and nothing has been done by the authorities to find and identify his kidnappers," the organisation said. "It seems that complicity between the local police and logging companies has prevented any progress in the investigation. The authorities in Manila must restart enquiries as a matter of urgency."
Estriber, who hosted the programme "Pag-usapan Natin" ("Let's talk about that") on local radio station DZJO, was kidnapped by four gunmen. According to a representative of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the kidnapping took place a few yards from a police station, but the police never questioned the witnesses.
Estriber has five dependants - his wife and four children - who have had no source of income since his disappearance.
A well-known critic of deforestation in Aurora province, Estriber often used his radio programme to condemn the intensive logging being carried out by companies with the support of people within the local government, and he had participated in a campaign calling for the withdrawal of nine licences issued to logging companies in the province.
Estriber also worked for the local development non-governmental organisation Bataris, which a military officer speaking on a radio station in February described as the kind of organisation that should be opposed.