Philippines: NUJ condemns targeted attacks against journalists

  • 05 Jul 2023

Journalists in the country face hostile environments, restrictions on reporting and false labelling by authorities as terrorist organisations.

The National Union of Journalists has called on authorities in the Philippines to take urgent action, ensuring the safety of journalists in the country. According to records held by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), at least 198 journalists have been killed since 1986.

On29 June, Remate Online journalist Joshua Abiad was shot at and seriously injured by unknown assailants in Quezon City. Abiad was travelling with three family members including his four year-old nephew and has since been hospitalised as a result of two gunshot wounds. 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the attack and said:

“This heinous attempt at murder, with the journalist’s family and bystanders as arbitrary collateral, is indicative of the increasingly dangerous environment for media in the Philippines.

"The safety and security of all media workers must be protected, and the country’s current anti-drug legislation poses unnecessary risks to working journalists. The IFJ condemns the violent attack against Joshua Abiad and urges authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the incident to ensure justice is served.”

The IFJ’s 2022 killed list reported journalists Jhannah Villegas, Federico ‘Ding’ Gempesaw, Rey Blanco and Percival Mabasa had been murdered. Both the IFJ and NUJ have called for an end to impunity and for perpetrators responsible for journalists’ killings to be brought to justice.

The NUJ has also condemned the act of red-tagging used by authorities to deliberately label individuals and organisations as linked to communist and terrorist groups. In 2022, the country’s National Telecommunications Commission blocked access to 28 media sites, including those it believed were linked to the country’s communist party, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Return to listing