Originally published on the Facebook page of NUJP on 7 June 2018.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemns the brazen murder of Dennis Denora, publisher and columnist of the community paper Trends and Times and an officer of the Davao Region Multi-media Group, who was shot dead by still unidentified killers near the wet market of Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Denora is the 11th journalist killed in the less than two years since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office and the 184th since 1986.
While there is still no official word on the possible motive for his murder, it was likely related to his work as a journalist. Denora’s colleagues in the province acknowledge that he was “fearless” in his commentaries in broadcast and print.
This latest media killing belies Malacañang’s claim that the Philippines has improved its position among the deadliest countries in the world to be a journalist, a fact international press freedom watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres already established early on when it reported that we had slipped six notches – from 127th to 133rd of 180 countries ranked – in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
It also highlights what we and allied media organizations noted on World Press Freedom Day early this month, that journalism has become an even more dangerous endeavor under Duterte, who has himself spearheaded the vilification of the press because he cannot abide criticism.
Even as we demand swift action by authorities on this and all other media killings, we also hold President Duterte accountable for our colleagues’ deaths.
Atty. Jocelyn Clemente
NUJP Hotline No. +63 917 515 5991
(Photo by Octavio Valle)