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Philippines 23 February 2007

President Arroyo urged to take energetic measures to end impunity

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the first killing of a journalist during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency, Reporters Without Borders wrote to Arroyo today urging her to take energetic measures to put an end to impunity for the murders of journalists.

Slain on 24 February 2001, Muhammad Yusop was the first of many journalists to be killed since Arroyo became president. Reporters Without Borders is backing the national day of action against impunity organised by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

The anniversary has coincided with the publication of the findings of the Melo commission and an investigation by the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston. Everything points to the involvement of certain elements in the security forces in the murders of journalists and political activists.

The letter called on President Arroyo to rapidly take the decisions that will enable the eradication of this kind of violence. “We are convinced that only way to consolidate the rule of law in the Philippines and to reinforce press freedom is to prosecute those responsible,” the organisation said.

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