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Director-General condemns killing of Philippines journalist Aresio Padrigao

25-11-2008 (Paris)
Director-General condemns killing of Philippines journalist Aresio Padrigao
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of dxRS Radyo Natin (Our Radio) journalist Aresio Padrigao on 17 November in Gingoog City, in the Philippines province of Misamis Oriental.
“I condemn the murder of Aresio Padrigao,” the Director-General declared. “It is essential for democracy and rule of law that journalists be allowed to carry out their investigations and voice their views and conclusions.”

Aresio Padrigao, 55, hosted a weekly radio programme, Sayri ang Katilingban (Know the People), in which he denounced cases of alleged corruption and illegal logging activities. He also wrote a column for the community newspaper Mindanao Monitor Today.

The journalist was shot by a motorcyclist as he was dropping his daughter off at university in the morning. He had received death threats prior to the shooting, according to the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).

CMFR reports that Aresio Padrigao is the sixth journalist to be killed in the Philippines this year.

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 purpose the Organization is required 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…”
Related themes/countries

      · Philippines
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2008
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2008
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