April 25, 2024

Press Freedom


Philippines September 8, 2006

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Malacanang Palace
Republic of the Philippines
Fax: (011.63.2) 735-6152

Your Excellency:

The Overseas Press Club of America, an independent organization of international journalists founded in 1939, is horrified by the un-ending murders of journalists in your country. It is appalling that since late May, five more journalists have been brutally shot down by unknown assailants who have escaped capture.

On May 23rd, Madame President, one day after the murder of Fernando Batul, who was gunned down on his way to work at radio DZRH in Puerto Princessa on Mindanao island, you demanded at your cabinet meeting that the killings of journalists must be stopped. This laudable order has had no effect.

On June 20, Mr. George Vigo and his wife, Mazel, both journalists though working in different media, were shot down my two motocyclists who escaped. Mr. Vigo worked for UCAN, the Union of Catholic News Agency, and his wife, Mazel, worked at DXND.

On July 18, Armando Pace was shot down driving home from work in the city of Digos on Mindanao .

Mr. Pace was known for his criticism on radio DXDS of local politicians and drug dealings.

On July 31, Vic Melendrez was murdered outside his house in Manila , shot multiple times.

Mr. Pace was a photographer for TWEED . As usual in these killings, it was declared that there was no evidence of a connection between his work and the crime. No capture was made.

Madame President, we grieve for our colleagues, as you do. All the world has heard of these murders now, and the Philippines is now considered the most dangerous country for journalists, outside of a war zone. The reputation of your country is tarnished, and we urge you to enforce your order to mobilize action to end this infamous situation.

We are hoping most sincerely, Madame President, that you will grant us the honor and the respect of a reply.


Respectfully yours,
Jacqueline Albert-Simon
Larry Martz
Freedom of the Press Committee



Ignacio R. Buny

Office of the Press Secretary

Arlegui Guest House

Malacanang Palace Compound


Republic of the Philippines



Willy Gaa

Ambassador of the Philippines to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines

1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington , DC 20035

Fax: (202) 328-7614



Ambassador Lauro L. Baja, Jr.

Permanent Representative

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



The Editor

Manila Times

e-mail: Newsboy1@manilatimes.net



The Editor

Quatorce Cebu Daily News

E-mail: joey alarilla@gmail.com