Director-General condemns murder of Philippines journalists Ricardo "Ding" Uy and Robert RamosThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder, in separate attacks, of Philippines journalists Ricardo “Ding” Uy and Robert Ramos denouncing the alarming level of violence faced by media professionals in the country.
“I condemn the assassination of Ricardo Uy and Robert Ramos,” the Director-General declared. “These heinous crimes,” Mr Matsuura said, “are unacceptable attacks on the fundamental human right of freedom of expression, which, along with freedom of the press, constitutes an essential component of democracy and rule of law. I trust that the authorities will take strong measures to pursue and punish the perpetrators of these acts. Violence against journalists in the Philippines has reached alarming proportions. I must, once again, pay tribute to the courage of Philippines journalists who risk their lives for the values of freedom of expression and democracy.”
According to a report by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Mr Uy was gunned down outside his home on Friday November 18. Mr Uy was an announcer on DZRS-AM radio in Sorsogon City and president of the Media Reporters Association of the province.
Robert Ramos, a reporter for Katapat, was shot in front of a market in Barangay Loc, Cabuyao, Laguna, on Sunday November 20. He was the ninth Philippines journalist to be killed this year, according to IFJ.
According to the IFJ, these murders bring to 72 the number of journalists killed in the Philippines since the country returned to democracy in 1986.
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…”