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Philippines June 2, 2006
H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Office of the President
Republic of the Philippines
Fax: (011.63.2) 735-6152
The Freedom of the Press Committee of the Overseas Press Club of America applauds your demand that the killing of media professionals in your country must stop, as expressed at the May 23 cabinet meeting. We take this as a positive step toward repairing the reputation of the Philippines as the most dangerous country for a journalist to work outside of a war zone.
As we have previously written, we hope that you will assert your leadership more vigorously than you have done in your past efforts to end the plague of killing, corruption and abuse of power. Nearly 70 unpunished murders of journalists since your country’s return to democracy in 1986 have created the inescapable impression that the Philippine solution to these problems is simply to “kill the messenger,” an expedient both barbarous and anomalous in a lawful democracy.
We note that on the heels of your May 23 pronouncement, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said there should be no “climate of impunity” on this issue. We can only hope that he is right, and that we will see a radical increase in the number convicted for these unspeakable crimes.
We would appreciate a reply.
Freedom of the Press Committee
Ignacio R Bunye
Office of the Press Secretary
Arlegui Guest House
Malacanang Palace Compound
Republic of the Philippines
Albert F. del Rosario
Ambassador of the Philippines to the U.S.A.
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington , DC 20036
Fax: (202) 328-7614
Ambassador Lauro L. Baja, Jr.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the
Philippines to the United Nations
556 Fifth Avenue
New York , NY 10036
Fax: (212) 840-8602
Kristie A. Kenney
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines
Embassy of the United States of America
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Fax: (011.63.2) 522-4361
Quatorce Cebu Daily News