UN official seeks probe into radio broadcaster's death-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
MANILA -- A United Nations official has urged local authorities to probe the alleged murder of a radio broadcaster who was reported missing two weeks before his body was found in Maguindanao early this month.
Irina Bokova, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) director-general, condemned the reported killing of Eddie Jesus Apostol, co-host of the blocktime program "Konseho sa Kahanginan" (Council on the Air) on radio station dxND in Kidapawan.
"It is important that the authorities conduct a serious investigation into this killing and ensure that the perpetrators are punished for their crime," said Bokova.
On September 1, Apostol's body was found in the Liguasan Marsh near Sultan sa Barongis town, according to dxND programming director Malu Manar, who is also the Kidapawan chair of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP).
Manar said a military official told her that Apostol's body was hogtied and had been shot twice in the head.
She added that Apostol was still an active radio program co-host before his death. However, it is not yet certain if his murder was connected to his work or may have been related to his activities as a treasure hunter.
Manar said Apostol's program discussed only developmental issues and mainly interviewed local government unit officials about their programs and projects.
The Unesco said 48 journalists and media workers, including Apostol, have been killed in the Philippines since 2008.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said its research shows that radio blocktimers like Apostol are frequently targeted in provincial areas of the Philippines.
The group also noted that at least three other journalists have been killed in the country in 2012 and at least 72 others have been killed in the line of duty since 1992.
Half of the 72 murdered journalists worked in the radio like Apostol. In 2011, two radio journalists were killed in direct relation to their profession.
The CPJ also said the Philippines is the second deadliest country in the world for journalists, next to Iraq.
The Philippines is also the world's third worst nation in bringing the perpetrators of media killings to justice with at least 56 unsolved media killings over the past decade, according to the group. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)