By Hyo-Jin Paik
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
MANILA, Philippines – A freelance journalist Carlos Conde, who regularly writes for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, has been named as an enemy target in a list titled “order of battle” compiled by the Filipino Army. The list names individuals who are not doing anything illegal, but are nevertheless killed with impunity.
“Why my name is included in the ‘order of battle’ is a mystery,” said Conde. “[T]his [list] has caused anxiety and fear in my family, because, as we all know, an ‘order of battle’ in the Philippines is a veritable hit list.”
Carols H. Conde (Source: Asia Sentinel)
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said that the Filipino government’s failure to end the culture of impunity against journalists and the media has given the country a reputation for being one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.
Since President Gloria Arroyo took power in 2001, more than 60 journalists have been killed. Six out of the seven journalists killed in the Philippines in 2008 were murdered, and two journalists escaped murder attempts in February of this year. Most recently, on May 20, 2009, a journalist was shot and wounded in Zamboanga Sibugay, a southern province of the Philippines. The Committee to Protect Journalist released a report in March stating that 24 murder cases of journalists remain unsolved in the Philippines, which is one of the world’s highest number of media killings.
“The Government of Gloria Arroyo-Macapagal (sic) must accept responsibility not just for its silence on impunity against journalists but for actively encouraging suspicion and violence against the Philippines media community,” said IFJ’s Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.
Conde suspects that his time as one of the coordinators of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, during which he staged local campaigns protesting against murders of journalists, may be the reason for his inclusion in the hit list. Media rights activist groups are urging the Filipino government to immediately clarify this situation.
For more information, please see:
Asia Sentinel – A Filipino Journalist and a Hit List – 19 May 2009
Committee to Protect Journalists – Philippine Journalist alleges he is on military ‘hit list’ – 20 May 2009
GMA News – Gov’t urged to explain journalist’s inclusion in Army ‘hit list’ – 28 May 2009
Reporters Without Borders – A journalist on army target list, another shot, possibly by soldier – 22 May 2009