UN agency chief urges probe into killings of broadcast journalists in southern Philippines

16 December 2013

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today called on Philippine authorities to investigate the separate murders of three journalists recently attacked in the southern Philippines region of Mindanao.

The Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, condemned the attacks saying it was “very important” that those responsible for these murders be brought to trial.

“Media workers in the Philippines have been paying a heavy price for exercising their right to free speech and providing society with independent news and reports,” she noted.

According to information from the UN agency, Rogelio “Tata” Butalid, 46, blocktime commentator at Radyo Natin, was shot dead outside the station’s studios in the city of Tagum on 11 December.

Michael Diaz Milo, a talk show host for DXFM radio, was killed in Tandag City on 6 December by unidentified gunmen.

DXGT radio broadcaster, Joas Dignos, was shot dead on 29 November in the city of Valencia.

The three names will be added to UNESCO’s dedicated webpage for journalists killed in the line of duty. This year alone, at least eight journalists have been killed in the Philippines.

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