18 April 2007
The Antonio Zumel Center for Press Freedom (AZCPF) strongly condemns the recent attacks on media people and journalists. The assassins want to prevent the media from bringing to the public the true state of the nation and the criminal activities being committed by those in power.*Carmelo Palacios, 41, a field reporter of Radyo ng Bayan, was found dead in Sta. Rosa town, Nueva Ecija, April 18. He is the 51st journalist to be killed under the Arroyo administration's increasingly blood-drenched watch, and the third this year.
A day after, Delfin Mallari Jr., correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the host of a local radio program and editor of the local paper Ang Dyaryo Natin, was shot and wounded in an ambush in Lucena City.
In Cebu City, Leo Lastimosa, station manager of the local ABS-CBN radio, was slapped with a libel suit by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia because of his exposes on alleged scams committed during the preparations for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations there.
The continuing attacks on media people and journalists can only be linked to the unabated attacks on militants and activists that are clearly politically-motivated.
Several prestigious international bodies, including the recent Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) have already pointed to the armed elements of the Arroyo regime as being responsible for these attacks, and have held the regime accountable for these crimes.
The Antonio Zumel Center for Press Freedom joins the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines and other media organizations in defending press freedom. Bullets and libel suits will not stop the good men and women of the media from their commitment to bring the truth to the people.