More than 30 journalists feared dead in Philippines

At least 30 journalists and their staff are feared to have been killed in the 23 November massacre in the Philippines.

According to the Associated Press, the total death toll from the attack, last week, on the convoy of a local politician now stands at 57.

Local journalists now regularly fear for their safety. Newspaper publisher Ronald Mascardo told the AP: “When I leave for work each day, there’s only a 50-50 chance I can return alive…It’s like Russian roulette, using a six-shooter loaded with three bullets.”

The International Federation of Journalists condemned the killings in a letter to the Philippines’ president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stating that 75 journalists have been killed in the last eight years of her presidency.

The IFJ wrote: “This is the worst mass killing of journalists and media workers ever recorded.”

It said: “The international media community are grieving and distraught at the failure of the government … to uphold its responsibility to protect our colleagues and to end the long-running culture of impunity.”

The IFJ said outside Iraq, the Philippines has become the most dangerous country for journalists this century.

It said: “A clear culture of impunity has been allowed to flourish under this government which must no longer be tolerated.”

The IFJ is calling on all its affiliate organisations worldwide, including the National Union of Journalists in the UK, to join a day of solidarity on 9 December.

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