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Thursday, July 17, 2008


Journalist gunned down in Quezon province

Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to deploy sufficient resources for the investigation into yesterday.s murder of journalist Robert Sison, who was killed when two men on a motorcycle fired on his car in Sariaya, a town in Quezon province 100 km southeast of the capital.

bert sison philippines journalists murder

The motive for this shooting is not yet known, and it is important that the police, the Task Force that specialises in attacks on journalists, and the judicial authorities do not ignore the possibility that it was linked to Sison.s work as a journalist,. Reporters Without Borders said.

.If this murder remains unpunished, as so many other murders of journalists have, it will be another defeat for the rule of law,. the press freedom organisation added. .Combatting violence against journalists and human rights activists should be a priority for the government..

Sison, 60, was driving home with his two daughters when the two men on a motorcycle overtook them and opened fire on the car, hitting Sison nine times. His elder daughter, 30-year-old Liwayway, sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. His younger daughter, Amirah, avoided being shot by playing dead.

Sison hosted a programme called Harana on dzAT-AM, a radio station based in the nearby city of Lucena, and was a correspondent for Regional Bulletin, a Lucena-based weekly that covered crime and other local stories, including stories that sometimes upset local officials. His two daughter also work for the weekly.

Sison.s wife told the press: .My husband and my daughters never did any harm to anyone. They just did their work as journalists.. She added that she tried to stop them leaving home yesterday morning because she sensed .danger coming..

Sison is the third journalist to be murdered this year in the Philippines.


The Director-General of UNESCO, Ko.chiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of Robert Sison, Filipino radio host and newspaper correspondent, who was gunned down by unidentified assailants on 30 June in Sariaya town, Quezon province, 97 km from Manila (Philippines).
.I condemn the brutal murder of Robert Sison,. said Mr Matsuura. .The targeting of professional journalists represents an intolerable violation of the basic human right of freedom of expression. I call upon the government of the Philippines to fully investigate his death and to increase protection for journalists..

Robert .Bert. Sison, 60, was host of a local radio programme and correspondent for the weekly newspaper .Regional Bulletin., which has published articles critical of local officials. He was shot to death by gunmen on motorcycles while driving home. His two daughters, both also journalists, were in the car with him. Liwayway, 30, was shot in the arm; Almira, 24, escaped injury.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Sison is the second media professional to be killed this year in the Philippines.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to .further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.. To realize this the Organization is requested to .collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image..


Mr. Sison, 60, was the host of a local radio programme and correspondent for the weekly newspaper "Regional Bulletin," which has published articles critical of local officials.

He was gunned down by unidentified assailants while driving home on 30 June in Sariaya town, Quezon province, some 97 kilometres from the capital, Manila


Were illegal loggers behind the killing of broadcaster Robert Sison?

Quezon Gov. Dante Nantes said Sison, who was exposing illegal logging activities in their province, told him he had been receiving death threats in the past few weeks.

Speaking at the Usapang Daungan news forum in Quezon City, Nantes said the killing of Sison was triggered by his hard-line campaign against illegal logging and fishing.

He said authorities have already made a breakthrough in their investigation of the case.

.We have already a strong lead, and it.s just a matter of time before the brains and the killers will be arrested,. he said.

Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspected hit men following a manhunt for the killers of Sison in Sariaya, Quezon Wednesday night.

However, Senior Superintendent Fidel Posadas, Quezon police director, said investigators have yet to gather more evidence to link Simeon Esguerra Aguila, 23, of San Juan, Batangas, and Joselito Cabrera, 32, of Matina, Davao City, to Sison.s murder.

.As of now hindi pa namin sila pwedeng ituro na sangkot sa pagpatay kay Sison dahil illegal possession of firearms pa lang ang pwede naming ikaso laban sa kanila,. he told The STAR.

Posadas said Esguerra and Cabrera were arrested for possession of two unlicensed caliber .45 pistols.

Police will test the guns seized from them and match these with shells recovered from the site where Sison was ambushed, he added.

The guns are owned by their employer, a certain barangay chairman Aristeo Ilao who owns a farmland in Barangay Sampaloc 2, the suspects told police.

However, a reliable source said Cabrera.s paraffin test showed that he was positive for powder burns.


Bert Sison, 60, a correspondent of the weekly Regional Bulletin and host of radio program Harana aired over dzAT-AM based in Lucena City, was driving home to Barangay Guisguis in his Toyota Corolla (PEU-887) when he was waylaid in Barangay Lutucan Bata. He was with daughters Liwayway, 30, and Almira, 24, both correspondents of the same paper.

.Sison was killed on the spot from nine bullet wounds, shielding one of his daughters,. said Senior Supt. Fidel Posadas, Quezon police chief.

He said the daughter seated behind the driver.s seat was hit in the arm.


The Philippines has been tagged one of the most dangerous places in the world to work as a journalist. Since President Arroyo came to power in 2001, at least 57 reporters have been killed.

Under fire for its failure to protect hundreds of journalists and left-wing activists killed over the past seven years, the government has vowed to track down killers of reporters but there have been few convictions.


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged at the murder of Philippines news correspondent and radio host Bert Sison in Sariaya, Quezon, on June 30.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, Sison was driving home with two of his daughters when two men on a motorcycle opened fire on his vehicle.

Sison’s daughters are also news correspondents in Quezon. One of them reportedly was shot in the arm during the attack.

Sison was working as a correspondent for Regional Bulletin, a Quezon-based weekly, and was the host of the weekly Harana (Serenade) program on radio dzAT-AM in Lucena City.

He is the third journalist to be murdered in the Philippines in 2008 and the 58th since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration came to power in 2001, the NUJP reports

Lucena City, in Quezon province, remains a danger hot spot for journalists after the May 2003 fatal shooting of Lucena-based radio announcer Apolinario “Polly” Pobeda and the near-fatal shooting attack on Inquirer correspondent Delfin T. Mallari Jr in April 2007.

“Sison’s murder is a tragic reminder that the Philippines continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for practising journalists,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

The IFJ joins the NUJP in strongly urging the Philippines Government and National Police to launch an immediate investigation and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The Philippines authorities can assist in ending the climate of impunity against the Philippines media by investigating fully every attack against a journalist and ensuring that those responsible for the violence are brought to justice.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide

Rey Tamayo, Jr.

According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, in article 3 section 4 says “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

It is clear that in our own constitution, the press freedom is one of the defender of every journalists and other media practitioner.

The International Federation of Journalist holds grave concerns for the safety of media practitioners in the country.

Recently, Marcos Mataro, a local senior announcer and main host of a program D’ X-man aired in UNTV 37 was killed by two unidentified suspect last April 28 this year. Mataro is a former minister of Iglesia ni Cristo of Felix Manalo transferred to Ang Dating Daan group.

According to National Union of Journalist of the Philippines, Mataro was the 57th local broadcaster killed under the Arroyo’s administration since 2001 after she grabbing allegedly the presidency from Estrada and second victim this year after Pilipino Newsmen columnist Benefredo Acabal based from Cavite.

Other press freedom incident that tremble in Philippine press history when veterans journalist and publisher of Daily Tribune Ninez Cacho-Olivares convicted in libel case and sentencing to a prison term as well as payment of 5 million peso for moral damages and P33,732 for the civil damages to Carpio Villaraza and Cruz ( now Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angcangco) law firm.

Aside for attaining security and protection from Philippine National Police and military, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, National Press Club, Philippine Press Institute and other media groups appealed to the lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representative to the speedy action regarding decriminalize the libel case in the country.

Why that the Philippines is the second most dangerous country in the world ( second to Iraq) for the journalists?

In the Philippines, statistics shown how media men unsafe in our epoch. 57 journalists killed in Arroyo’s administration, while 17 journalists killed in the time of former president Corazon Aquino, 15 journalists in Ramos administration and only 5 journalists murdered in Estrada’s period.

Even the democracy and sovereignty suddenly risky in our present administration.

Imagine, in the latest survey of International rights group known as Freedom House, the Washington-based Global Press Freedom, the Philippines is now under in partly free country and 97th in the list over 195 country in the world. The Philippines received a downward trend due to human rights violation like extra-judicial and political killings specifically targeting left-wing political activists.

The government know the perilous condition in our freedom, also the government know what’s remedy for this particular dilemma.

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