Reporters Without Borders notes the arrest of one of the suspects in the murder of radio journalist Niel Jimena on 8 August in the southern Philippines.
“Progress in the investigation into the murders of media workers is too rare to be ignored,” the press freedom organization said. “We call on the police to continue their efforts to find those behind these crimes and we hope that there will be rapid progress in many similar cases that are still outstanding.
“The danger facing journalists and the impunity of their attackers has reached tragic proportions in the Philippines. We note that at least four media workers have been murdered since the start of the year.
“Ensuring justice for victims is a prerequisite for deterring further attacks and ending this bloody escalation. In this respect, the investigation into the massacre of 32 journalists in 2009 is particularly significant. However, it should not obscure the fact that the legal system has been slow to shed light on a series of other murders, including those of Dennis Cuesta, Christopher Guarin and Aldion Layao.”
Jimena, a presenter on DYRI-RMN Radio, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle near his home on Negros Island last August. Before his death, he received threats from a politician he had criticised.
One of the two suspects, Noel Guimeroy, was arrested on 8 August in the village of Tinungan in the Isabela commune. The second, Joel Calungsod, is still sought by police. Both will answer to charges of murder before the municipal court in Silay, in the west of Negros Island.
The Philippines is ranked 140th of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders and remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.