Abu Sayyaf

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Alerts   |   Jordan, Philippines

Al-Arabiya reporter released from captivity in Philippines

New York, December 4, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of a reporter working for Al-Arabiya news channel who, along with two crewmembers, was abducted by Islamist militants 18 months ago.

Blog   |   Philippines

Al-Arabiya news team missing in the Philippines

Baker Abdulla Atyani (AP/Nickee Butlangan)

CPJ is monitoring with concern the news coverage of Baker Abdulla Atyani, a Pakistan-based Jordanian Al-Arabiya TV journalist, and his two Philippine crew members, Rolando Letrero and Ramelito Vela, who have been unaccounted for since June 12.

Atyani, Letrero, and Vela left their hotel in Jolo, in the southern Philippines, to interview a commander for the militant Abu Sayyaf, a banned Islamic separatist group in the region, according to local and international news reports. The three refused offers of a security detail from local authorities, the reports said.

They have not returned. Various news accounts report them as "missing," "kidnapped," and a link between Abu Sayyaf and Al-Qaeda.

Case   |   Philippines

Philippine journalists wounded in suspected militant attack

Suspected militants fired at two low-flying military helicopters in Basilan province in the southern Philippines on August 16, 2009, injuring two journalists who were on board, according to local and international reports. The militants were thought to belong to the Abu Sayyaf Group, which is allegedly linked to Al-Qaida.

August 27, 2009 2:16 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

Philippine TV journalist and crew abducted

New York, June 9, 2008--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a militant group's abduction of three journalists from Philippine network ABS-CBN in the southern Philippine province of Sulu on Sunday.

ABS-CBN news head Maria Ressa provided CPJ with an official statement today confirming that journalist Ces Drilon, cameraman Jimmy Encarnacion, and assistant cameraman Angelo Valderama disappeared while in Sulu.

June 9, 2008 12:00 PM ET


Letters   |   Philippines

Despite government claims, Philippine murders go unsolved

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply troubled by recent statements made by presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye and the Philippine National Police (PNP) that many of the cases of journalists killed in the country have been solved and that the cases are unrelated to the issue of press freedom.

May 15, 2006 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines


New York, November 15, 2004
—The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the two fatal attacks on Philippine journalists over the weekend, the latest killings in an already record-breaking year for violence against the press in the Philippines.

An unidentified gunman shot photographer Gene Boyd Lumawag, of the MindaNews news service, in the head, killing him instantly on Friday, November 12, in Jolo, the capital of the southern Sulu Province.
November 15, 2004 12:00 PM ET



Gene Boyd Lumawag

An unidentified gunman shot photographer Lumawag, of the MindaNews news service, in the head, killing him instantly in Jolo, the capital of the southern Sulu Province.

Lumawag was photographing the sunset at the pier in Jolo on the last day of Ramadan in the Muslim-majority area when he was killed by a single bullet to the head, according to local news accounts. Lumawag, 26, had traveled to Jolo with another reporter on November 10 to work on a video documentary about transparency and local governing practices for the U.S.-based Asia Foundation.

Sulu Province, comprising a group of islands 310 miles (500 kilometers) south of the capital, Manila, is a bastion for the Islamic separatist group Abu Sayyaf, The Associated Press reported. Abu Sayyaf has been linked to al-Qaeda and has made headlines in recent years with high-profile kidnappings for ransom. The island province is also a stronghold for Jemaah Islamiah, the militant Islamic group.

The exact motive for Lumawag's murder was unclear, and local police and army spokesmen put forward different theories. Army investigators told Mindanews Chairwoman Carolyn Arguillas, who had accompanied Lumawag, that they suspected Abu Sayyaf members were responsible for the killing. The head of the local antiterrorism unit, Brig. Gen. Agustin Dema-ala, also claimed in local news reports that the gunman's description matched that of a wanted local Abu Sayyaf operative.

But in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, local police head, Chief Superintendent Vidal Querol, said that a corruption story the two journalists were pursuing was the likely motive. Local news accounts also speculated that Lumawag might have been mistaken as a spy or member of the military because his clothes resembled fatigues, and he spoke Filipino instead of the local Tausig language.

November 12, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2002: Asia Analysis

The vicious murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan focused international attention on the dangers faced by journalists covering the U.S. "war on terror," yet most attacks on journalists in Asia happened far from the eyes of the international press. In countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines, reporters covering crime and political corruption were as vulnerable to attack as those reporting on violent insurgency. Seven journalists were killed in 2002 for their work in Asia.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2002: Philippines

Raucous and uninhibited, the Philippine press continues to be one of Asia's freest. There are few government controls on the media, newspapers do not have to be licensed, and broadcasters are largely left alone. The private Association of Philippine Broadcasters regulates itself, unlike in many other Asian countries, where the government performs this function.
March 31, 2003 12:03 PM ET


Alerts   |   Philippines

Two journalists missing, feared kidnapped

New York, October 2, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is concerned about the safety of television reporter Carlo Lorenzo and cameraman Gilbert Ordiales, who went missing on the southern island of Jolo, Sulu Province, on September 28. CPJ fears that the journalists may have been kidnapped.

Lorenzo and Ordiales, who work for GMA television broadcasters, were in Jolo to report on rebel groups in the region, according to Philippine and international news reports. The journalists were last seen after they met a group of armed men in the town of Indanan, according to an account by their driver. The driver left the group momentarily to check on his car, and when he returned, the journalists and the armed men had disappeared.
October 2, 2002 12:00 PM ET

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