February 23, 2007
H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Hon. Raul M. Gonzales
DOJ Main Building
Padre Faura Street
Hon. Ignacio R. Bunye
Press Secretary & Presidential Spokesman
Arlegui Guest House,
Director General OSCAR CASTELO CALDERON
Office of the Chief PNP
NHQ PNP Building, Camp Crame
Edsa Corner Boni Serrano Avenue, Quezon City
1100 Manila, Philippines
Dear Madame and Messrs
I am writing to you on behalf of the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) Indonesia, the organisation representing journalists in Indonesia, to call on your government to take immediate action to address the terrible press freedom and journalist safety situation in the Philippines.
Under the reign of this administration, led by President Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo, 50 journalists have lost their lives in targeted and brutal attacks, for nothing more than doing their jobs. And in 2006, the Philippines was again in the top two most deadly countries for journalists in the world, second only to war-torn Iraq.
This appalling record sends a strong message to the world that the Philippines government cares little for the lives of journalists, and a democratic and free media.
We are deeply concerned by these figures, and by the apparent lack of political will to find these journalist killers and bring them justice. The Melo Commission, created on August 21, 2006, has been appallingly unsuccessful in investigating these murders, and despite governmental assurances, the bloodshed continues.
It is time for the government to make a stand for a free and safe Philippines, and act now to end the culture of impunity, to show the world your nation protects its citizens, punishes criminals, and values press freedom and democracy.
This has gone on far too long, and too many lives have been wasted, for the government to remain idle.
The Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) Indonesia gives its full and unconditional support to IFJ affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in their campaign for an end to the culture of impunity and journalist killings, and we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Philippines in their fight for a safe, free and independent media.
Coord Advocacy Department