Philippines: CPJ calls for release of abducted radio journalist

New York, March 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Philippine authorities today to work for the release of kidnapped radio commentator Joey Estriber.

Four unidentified men seized Estriber on March 3 in Baler, the capital of Aurora province, 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of Manila, local media reported. Estriber cried out for help as he was bundled into a waiting van in the center of town. Estriber, 37, anchors a radio news program on radio station DZJO in Baler and is also works with non-governmental organizations campaigning against large-scale mining and illegal logging in the province.

“We are deeply concerned for the safety of Joey Estriber and call on the Philippine authorities to do everything in their power to secure his release,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. “Unfortunately the failure of the Philippine authorities to aggressively pursue previous attacks on the press has fueled a culture of impunity and emboldened those who use violence to silence the media.”