Radio journalist killed

New York, December 3, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns yesterday’s killing of journalist Nelson Nadura, a commentator for Radio DYME in the Philippine’s central Masbate City. CPJ is investigating the circumstances behind his death.

At about 8:30 a.m. on December 2, two unidentified gunmen shot Nadura on his motorcycle when he left the radio station after his daily broadcast, according to press reports and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, a Manila-based press freedom organization. He died immediately from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Six empty shells and a slug were found on the scene. The suspects fled on foot.

This year alone, five journalists in the Philippines have been killed for their work, according to CPJ research. No one has been convicted for any of these murders.

The motive behind Nadura’s killing is not clear, and police are currently conducting an investigation. Nadura, 42, hosted a morning talk show on political affairs called “Opinyon Publiko,” during which he criticized local officials. A former member of the communist rebel group New Peoples Army, Nadura was amnestied in 1998 after surrendering to the government. He later started working as a radio commentator. At the time of his death, he was president of the Union of Print and Broadcast Journalists of Masbate.

Today, President Gloria Macagapal Arroyo condemned Nadura’s murder, stating, “These attacks against members of the press shall not go unpunished.” Since the return of democracy in the Philippines in 1986, more than 40 journalists have been murdered there for their work. None of these murders has been solved.

“President Arroyo’s statement will be no more than empty words unless those who assassinate journalists are brought to justice,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “The murders of Nadura and his colleagues must be investigated swiftly and thoroughly, and those responsible must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

For more information on the other journalists killed recently in the Philippines, see CPJ’s September 8 news alert.