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Press club president's home targeted by shooters

(IFJ/IFEX) - November 30, 2009 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) abhors the relentless disregard and disrespect toward the Philippines media community after another violent act of intimidation against a press freedom activist was reported on November 27.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, three unidentified people reportedly shot at the home of Negros Press Club president and former NUJP national chairman Edgar Cadagat in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental Province. The attackers were travelling in a multi-cab vehicle and motorcycle.

Cadagat, who is a long-standing pillar of the press freedom movement in the Philippines, including during the years of the Marcos dictatorship, was fortunately not home at the time of the attack.

The NUJP has called this latest attack "revolting."

It occurred four days after the massacre of at least 30 journalists as well as lawyers and civilians in a roadside ambush in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao Province on November 23.

"This shows that the global outcry and revolt against the massacre has not stopped the attacks and threats against journalists in the Philippines," the NUJP said.

At least 104 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship and the People Power Revolution in 1986, according to the NUJP.

Prior to the November 23 massacre, more journalists had been killed in the Philippines under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since 2001 than under any other government in the Philippines.

"The Arroyo Government must act with the utmost urgency to end the unrelenting violence and malevolency against the Philippines journalism community," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"The media in the Philippines has endured too many long years of violence. Last week's atrocity must be fully investigated and all those responsible brought to justice, just as attacks such as those against Edgar Cadagat and numerous others must be investigated. This systemic violence against the media must end."

The IFJ has called for a Global Day of Solidarity on December 9 to support colleagues in the Philippines in their quest for justice. The day of action will coincide with an IFJ international mission to the Philippines.

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