16 October 2012
Source: International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ/IFEX) – 15 October 2012 – The International Federation of Journalists affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), reports that Benjamin Pallarca, one of the men arrested for the 2008 killing of radio blocktimer Arecio Padrigao has pleaded guilty to homicide – a charge which was downgraded from murder following a plea bargain on October 8.
Padrigao, an anchor on dxRS Radyo Natin and columnist for the local daily Mindanao Monitor Today, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle on November, 17, 2008 after dropping his daughter at school.
Pallarca stands to face up to 12 years in jail and civil damages of P150,000 (approx. US$3,630).
While the IFJ and NUJP welcome the long awaited sentencing of one of the Padrigao killers, the case highlights the continued failure of the Aquino government to protect journalists and act decisively in prosecuting their killers.
Over 12 radio journalists have been killed or violently attacked in the Philippines this year alone. Not one arrest has been made.
“The IFJ renews calls to break the cycle of impunity, ensure that all cases of violence against journalists are investigated swiftly and the perpetrators brought to justice,” IFJ Asia Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries.