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Journalist’s Murder Underscores Impunity in the Philippines

June 15, 2011

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the murder of dwEB-FM radio commentator Romeo Olea in Camarines Sur province on June 13.

Olea was on his way to work about 5.30am when he was shot by three gunmen on the outskirts of Iriga in the northern Philippines. He died shortly after at the Rinconada Medical Center.

Olea is the fourth media worker to be killed in the Philippines this year and the fifth since the inauguration of President Benigno Aquino III on June 30, 2010.

Miguel Belen, one of Olea’s colleagues at dwEB-FM, also died on July 31, 2010 from injuries sustained when he was shot weeks earlier on July 9.

“The impunity with which journalists are attacked and murdered will never be brought to an end unless government unequivocally commits itself and acts resolutely to defend the rights and liberties of each and every Filipino,” the NUJP said in statement.

It is not yet clear if Olea’s murder was directly related to his work as a journalist. He was known for his “crusading” reporting in his program, Anything Goes, according to local media reports.

“The murder of Romeo Olea is characteristic of media killings in the Philippines where outspoken voices are violently silenced,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“The IFJ joins the NUJP in imploring authorities to see that the investigation into his murder is fast and effective.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

For more information contact:
International Federation of Journalists
Phone: +61 2 9333 0919

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