Aquino, Philippines Urged to Halt Epidemic of Attacks on Journalists
D.C., and Manila, Philippines, March 28, 2011
for Public Policy Analysis
The Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C., has issued an international appeal today calling
upon President Benigno Aquino and the Philippine government to make it a higher national priority to address political violence
directed against journalists and press freedom in the Philippines. The statement condemns the apparent assassination of
radio talk show host and journalist Maria Len Flores Somera who was murdered last Thursday near her home in Malabon city,
in metropolitan Manila.
In the wake of the radio journalist “Len” Somera's
murder, the international appeal also urges support for Bishop Felixberto Calang's request that the United Nations monitor
the ongoing Maguindanao (Mindanao) massacre trial.
“We urge President Benigno Aquino, and
the Philippine government, to make it a higher national priority to address the recent murder of journalist Maria Len Flores
Somera as well as the epidemic of violent attacks on press freedom, and individual journalists, in the Philippines,”
said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).
statement regarding the murder of journalists in the Philippines was issued in Washington, D.C. and Manila by Philip Smith,
Director of the CPPA.
The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and research organization focused on
foreign policy, human rights, humanitarian affairs, economic development and other public policy issues. http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the unconscionable murder of radio talk show
journalist Maria Len Flores Somera which appears to many in the international community as yet another example of political
violence and efforts to silence freedom-loving journalists and people in the Philippines seeking reform,” Smith stated.
Somera, 44, was a broadcaster for DZME radio in Manila, prior to being killed on March 24. According
to Philippine National Police (PNP) sources, she was shot with a pistol, execution-style, point blank, by a
“Mrs. Somera was popular to radio listeners in Manila, in part, for her tireless
dedication to freedom of expression and investigative reporting on issues of concern to the public and ordinary people, including
matters of government inefficiency, incompetence and corruption among some officials in the Philippines,” Smith said
in the CPPA's statement.
Excerpts of the CPPA's international appeal and statement continued:
“Tragically, this appears to be another act of political violence, and horrific human
rights violations, directed against journalists in the Philippines who seek to freely and fairly inform the public about
current events and developments, including issues of governance, public service and corruption;”
urge President Benigno Aquino, and the Philippine government, to make it their highest priority to apprehend and bring to
justice those responsible for this terrible crime against Maria Len Flores Somera, and her family, as well as the Philippine
people, civil society, and the Philippine nation;”
“The international community
and Filipinos around the world have expressed shock, outrage and sadness regarding the murder of Mrs. Somera and the ongoing
pattern of systemic violence directed against journalists in the Philippines, which urgently needs to be addressed by President
Aquino and the Philippine government;
“We urge President Benigno Aquino, and the Philippine government, including
the judiciary and courts, to do significantly more to seriously provide full justice, and comprehensive psycho-social assistance,
to the suffering family members of the 57 people, including 32 journalists, murdered in the political violence and attack
in Mindanao, Maguindanao province ( Magindanaw ), on November 23, 2009...;
'We appeal to the United Nations
Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to monitor the Maguindanao massacre trial as requested by Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine
Independent Church, and others, especially given troubling reports of ongoing delays, the resignation of state prosecutors,
and the disappearance and intimidation of witnesses;
address the concerns and complaint filed earlier this month before the UNHRC by the families of journalists Maricel Vigo,
Juan Pala, Dennis Cuesta, Fernando Lintuan, and William Yap Yu who reportedly assert that the Philippine government has egregiously
violated the rights of their loved ones, who were killed between 2000-2007, in apparent disregard of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)...;
are concerned that press freedom, and key institutions of civil society, are increasingly under attack in the Philippines
as sadly symbolized by the murder of Maria Len Flores Somera and other journalists,” Smith concluded in the CPPA's
international appeal and statement.
The CPPA has issued previous statements and appeals regarding
the world's largest known single massacre of journalists which occurred in Mindanao, Philippines on November 23, 2009.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the National Union of Journalists of
the Philippines ( NUJP), and others, have also called on authorities in the Philippines to promptly investigate the murder
of Mrs. Somera.
According to reports by DZME Radio, GMA News, and others, the National Press Club of
the Philippines and the Alyansang ng Filipinong Mamamahayag, two media groups in the Philippines, have said they have raised
thousands in monetary funds, some 50,000 Philippine Pesos (PHP), for anybody who can provide information leading to the arrest
of the gunman and plotters in Mrs. Sumera's bloody killing
In New York, the Committee to
Protect Journalists issued a statement earlier this month expressing concern that an accused Maguindanao province mastermind,
allegedly involved in the mass killing of 32 journalists in Ampatuan, Mindanao, on November 23, 2009, may go free. http://www.cpj.org/2011/03/accused-maguindanao-mastermind-may-go-free.php
Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Suite 220 Washington, DC 20006
Tele. (202) 543-1444
Manila , Philippines , Feb 11, 2011 ... MANILA, Philippines - A United States-based think tank believes the Philippine ... including 32 journalists, in Mindanao, in November 2009
"is an act of ... The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a Washington,
www.abs-cbnnews.com/ nation/ 02/ 11/ 11/ us-think-tank-massacre-victims-kin-need-counseling
Scoop News, New Zealand, February 11, 2011,
Citing the unprecedented
murder of journalists in the Philippines, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis issued
an appeal to the government of the Philippines and a Quezon City Court to grant assistance to the family
members of slain journalists and victims of the November 23, 2009, killings that left 57 people dead in Mindanao (Maguindanao).
Philippines Urged To Assist Families of Slain Journalists During Trial
Washington, D.C., and Manila, Philippines, February 11, 2011
Citing the unprecedented murder of journalists in the Philippines, the
Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis issued an appeal to the government of the Philippines and a Quezon
City Court to grant assistance to the family members of slain journalists and victims of the November 23, 2009, killings
that left 57 people dead in Mindanao (Maguindanao).
brutal murder of 57 people, including 32 journalists, in Mindanao, in November of 2009, is an act of political violence
and factional rivalry, that continues to shock the world community and societies around the globe that value press freedom,”
said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C.
The Center for Public Policy Analysis is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and public policy research
organization focused on international relations, human rights, refugee and security issues.
“As the trial goes
forward, we urge the Philippine government and Quezon City Court to act responsibly toward the surviving family members that
have been severely traumatized as a result of the massacre and gross human rights violations,” Smith continued.
massacre victims’ families should be granted psychosocial help during the judicial process and its aftermath since
the mass killings of the journalists and their colleagues in 2009 was a unique and terrible violation of human rights and
international law,” Smith said.
magnitude of the atrocity on that horrific day, November 29, 2009, warrants the full assistance of the Philippine government
to help the survivors of the many slain journalists and victims,” Smith stated further.
The CPPA has raised repeated concerns about the
infamous “Mindanao Massacre” involving the horrific mass murder of journalists in the town of Ampatuan in the
Philippines in 2009 as well as the overall crisis situation in Mindanao.
“The recent courtroom collapse
of Myrna Reblando, wife of the murdered Manila Bulletin journalist Bong Reblando, is but one example of why the
surviving family members need the Philippine government’s emergency help in providing psychosocial help, especially
during this important trial that is being watched by the international community,” Smith concluded.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
has documented recent attacks on the press in the Philippines, and the Mindanao Massacre, and has assisted family
members of the victims.
The Brussel, Belgium-based International
Crisis Group has also issued repeated statements and reports about the killing of the journalists and has shed light on
the national and political context.
Contact: Helen Cruz
Mubarak Urged to Halt Attacks on Internet, Journalists, Protesters
Mubarak Urged to Halt Attacks on Journalists, Internet
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis is calling on Egyptian President
Mubarak, and his public security and military forces, to immediately and unconditionally restore unfettered internet use
to the people of Egypt and allow independent journalists access to the developing crisis in the country.
Washington, D.C., Friday, January 28 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis is
calling on Egyptian President Mubarak, and his public security and military forces, to immediately and unconditionally restore
unfettered internet use to the people of Egypt and allow independent journalists access to the developing crisis in the
Thousands of largely peaceful protestors
have clashed with police and army units in recent hours, including at Ramsis Square, Tahrir Square and the October 6th
Bridge in Cairo Police and Egyptian Army units are firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators,
who have also been bludgeoned with batons. Many are calling on the President Mubarak to step down as President.
“During this crisis, we are calling on President Hosni Mubarak
to embrace transparency and restore full internet access to the people of Egypt as well as cease the censorship of independent
news sources, and internet communications, which are important to a free and open society in Egypt and elsewhere in the
Middle East and North Africa,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
in Washingiton, D.C.
usage and traffic by providers, including Telecom Egypt, Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya and Etisalat Mist has reportedly been
blocked today in Cairo and much of Egypt.
further commented: “We are very concerned that, in the aftermath of the ongoing internet censoring
and blockage, large numbers of Egyptian military and security forces have been mobilized as a result of demonstrations in
Cairo and elsewhere in the Nile Delta and across the country.”
“There is growing concern in Washington, D.C., and in the U.S. Congress, that given the billions of dollars
in American taxpayers’ money given to Egypt over the years, that Egyptian Army units, including those with armored
vehicles, have been to deployed in Cairo in an apparent effort to head off peaceful protestors as well as silence journalists
and news reporters seeking to cover these recent events,” Smith said.
“Based upon credible reports about the recent harassment and beating by Egyptian police of journalists from
Al Jazeera, CNN, and the Arabic service of the BBC, we are also urging President Mubarak to intervene to stop the attacks
on journalists and permit press freedom and accurate news reporting of breaking developments in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt,”
Smith further stated.
“We are strongly urging
Mubarak to halt attacks on journalists and cease the internet censorship,” Smith concluded. “Military and security
force attacks against peaceful protestors should also cease.” http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Internet instant messaging, social network sites
and other forms of internet and mobile telephone communications have been blocked by the Mubarak government in an apparent
effort to stifle protestors, anti-government opposition groups and political dissidents in Egypt.
President Mubarak has ruled Egypt for three decades..
The United States provides some $1.3 billion dollars in annual military assistance
to the Mubarak government in Egypt--with tens of billions in U.S. taxpayers’ assisting being provided to the Egyptian
military over the last three decades of President Mubarak’s rule.
State-run television has announced a curfew in Egypt.
Egypt is besieged with rampant unemployment, rising food prices and other problems.
The Egyptian crisis follows earlier protests in Tunisia that resulted in the ousting
of its former President Ben Ali Zine El Abidine who was given asylum in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia earlier this month.
Protests in Jordan are calling for the resignation
of its Prime Minister.
Contact: Maria Gomez
Tele. (202) 543-1444
CPPA - Center for Public Policy Analysis
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
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