Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Broadcaster murdered in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 15, 2010)– An unidentified gunman shot dead a Filipino broadcaster in an attack in the restive region of Mindanao, police said Tuesday.

Police said the attacker fled after killing Desiderio Camangyan late Monday in the town of Manay in Davao Oriental province. The 52-year old Camangyan who was working for the Kalayaan Broadcasting Corporation, had been invited to host an amateur singing contest when shot, it said.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack and police launched an investigation into the murder.

The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines in Davao condemned the murder, adding, "Camangyan's killing is yet one more proof of the ever-existent culture of impunity in our midst, which is most felt in small and remote communities dominated by the very powerful few".

More than 100 journalists had been killed since President Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001.

Just recently, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists wrote President- elect Benigno Aquino 3rd and urged him to work in ending the culture of impunity in the Philippines.

“With your recent election to office, we are looking forward to engaging with your administration on press freedom-related issues in the years ahead. It is our particular hope that you will translate your strong electoral mandate into a firm commitment to end the culture of impunity that has resulted in the extraordinarily high number of media killings in the Philippines,” it said in a letter dated June 9.

It also recommended Aquino to launch a probe into the killings of at least 32 journalists brutally murdered in November last year in Maguindanao province after accompanying a political caravan. The killings were blamed to the powerful Ampatuan clan, whose patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., and his sons and relatives had been arrested and jailed.

“We understand that your administration will face obstacles in reversing these trends and breaking the culture of impunity that has resulted in so many media killings, but this should not be an excuse for inaction. A sincere government commitment to press freedom and the protection of journalists is essential to achieving the democratic aspirations embodied in your strong mandate to rule and reform,” it further wrote.

The Committee to Protect Journalists ranked the Philippines as having the third-worst record in the world trailing only Iraq. (With a report from Geo Solmerano)

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