Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Philippines 5 April 2006

Police urged to investigate journalist’s murder in Tarlac

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to thoroughly investigate the murder of newspaper columnist and municipal consultant Orlando Mendoza, who was gunned down near his home in the city of Tarlac, 100 km north of Manila, on 2 April.

“Even if Mendoza handled land conflicts for the Tarlac municipal government, the authorities should not rule out the possibility that he was killed because of his work as a journalist,” the press freedom organisations said, urging the PNP to deploy investigators to establish the motives for the murder and identify those responsible.

Reporters Without Borders also noted that there has been no word of journalist and environmental activist Joey Estriber since he was kidnapped on 3 March in Aurora province.

Mendoza, 58, was a columnist for the Tarlac Profile and the chief editor of another local newspaper, the Tarlac Patrol. He was also secretary of the Tarlac radio and press club. Central Luzon Media Association president Abel Pablo said Mendoza also worked for the Tarlac municipal council as a consultant on land disputes.

Before getting into journalism in 1998, Mendoza worked for the agrarian reform department. Pablo said a journalist had accused him of forging papers to help peasants and landowners involved in property disputes.

Tarlac Patrol publisher Pacifico Guevarra told the Inquirer News Service he thought the Mendoza’s murder was more likely linked to his work on land disputes than his journalistic activities. Nonetheless, libel actions were brought against Guevarra and Mendoza last month by the Philippine Guardian Brotherhood (military fraternity) that was criticised in their articles. The courts ruled in their favour.

The police never identified any suspects in the July 2003 murder in Tarlac of columnist Bonifacio Gregorio of the Diaryo Banat.

In this country
22 May - Philippines
A journalist on army target list, another shot, possibly by soldier
6 March - Philippines
Second journalist in a week narrowly escapes murder attempt
23 February - Philippines
Radio journalist gunned down on Mindanao island
5 January - Philippines
Radio show host comes under fire near his home
3 December - Philippines
Second Radyo Natin presenter gunned down in less than a month

in the annual report
Philippines - Annual report 2008
Philippines - Annual report 2007
Philippines - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised