Director-General condemns murder of Philippine journalist Armando PaceThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of radio broadcaster Armando Pace, who hosted programmes on Radyo Ukay dxDS in Digos on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
“I condemn the murder of Armando Pace,” declared the Director-General. “The number of journalists assassinated in the Philippines is very troubling. Beyond the loss of human lives, these murders represent a serious attack on press freedom, which is essential for democracy and rule of law.”
“It is essential that these murders be investigated thoroughly, and that their perpetrators be brought to justice and punished,” Mr Matsuura added. “I call on the authorities of the Philippines to ensure that crimes against journalists do not go unpunished.”
Armando Pace, 51, was shot on 18 July by two unidentified attackers as he was riding his motorcycle home along a busy road. Hit in the head and chest, Mr Pace died in hospital. He was known for his critical commentaries on local politicians.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 23 journalists were killed in the Philippines between 2000 and 2005, with only one case resulting in a conviction.
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…”