6th Journalist Murdered During Duterte’s Term

Panabo City, Davao Del Norte June 8, 2018

Rappler.com
Published 8:34 PM, June 08, 2018
Updated 8:35 PM, June 08, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Journalists from Mindanao and an international media watchdog were the latest groups to condemn the killing of yet another Filipino member of the media.

The Mindanao Independent Press Council (MIPC) and the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned Friday, June 8, the murder of Dennis Denora, publisher of the weekly community newspaper Trends and Times in Panabo City in Davao del Norte.

According to the Panabo City police Denora, was gunned down around 1 pm on Thursday, June 7, while he was in his car with his driver, Mayonito Revira, along the national highway.

The police said Denora was sitting at the right side of the driver when unknown assailants started firing bullets at him “multiple times”.

In its statement, the MIPC, a broad-based organization of practicing journalists in the island, condemned “in the strongest terms the murder of Dennis Denora”.

“Colleagues describe Denora, who maintained a column in his own newspaper, as an ardent advocate of community press, covering important local issues that do not usually get attention in the national media.”

Reporters Without Borders’ condemnation

The RSF said “Denora’s murder is extremely disturbing and we call on both the Davao del Norte authorities and the presidential task force on media security to conduct a thorough investigation.”

Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia Pacific desk said: “The current (Philippine) government keeps on pointing to this task force, created in October 2016, as evidence of its desire to protect journalists but this is the 6th journalist to be murdered since Rodrigo Duterte became president. The authorities must take more concrete measures to guarantee journalists’ safety.”

He was referring to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security which also issued a statement Friday condemning the killing.

“The Presidential Task Force on Media Security is deeply saddened and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the killing of newspaper publisher Dennis D. Denora, a member of the Davao Region Multi-Media Group at about 2 pm (on Thursday) in Panabo City, Davao del Norte,” the task force statement said.

The Philippines is regarded by RSF as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.

In its World Press Freedom Index released in April 2017, RSF ranked the Philippines 127th out of 180 countries. Based on this index, the Philippines was in the top 5 dangerous countries for journalists – together with Mexico, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The MIPC said it “deeply values the work of local journalists who are at the forefront of shedding light on the issues facing their own communities. Often, they are the only voice standing against abuses, corruption, and impunity.”