Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Community journalists can help

One of the outputs from the Training the Trainors Workshop the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in Davao City was a press alert made by the participants on the case of Herson Hinolan, a broadcaster from Aklan who was killed on November 3, 2004.

The report/press alert was sent to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange or IFEX (a global network of press freedom and free expression organizations of which CMFR is a member) the same day. IFEX posted the alert the next day, to the delight of some participants and some of us from the staff like Nathan and I.

CMFR encourages journalists, especially those working in the provinces, to report press freedom threats and attacks to the organization. Given the rise of press freedom violations in the country, community journalists should really help defend press freedom in the country by reporting such threats and attacks to CMFR and other national organizations.

Police hot on trail of Aklan broadcaster's killer

The town mayor charged with the killing of Aklan broadcaster Herson Hinolan has gone missing, following the upgrading of the case from homicide to murder.

Police are saying that they cannot serve a warrant of arrest for Lezo Mayor Alfredo Arceno as they have been unable to locate him. Arceno, whom Hinolan had attacked in some of his commentaries, used to be a military sergeant.

The arrest warrant was issued on 7 September 2006 by Aklan Regional Trial Court Branch 7.

On 13 November 2004, Hinolan was shot seven times in different parts of his body by a gunman near a carnival along a local street in Kalibo, Aklan, about 350 kilometres south of Manila.

Hinolan was a commentator and station manager working for the Kalibo-based radio station dyIN. Aside from criticizing Arceno, Hinolan had criticised illegal gambling activities in the province.

Hinolan was the 17th journalist killed in the line of duty during the Arroyo administration, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. He was also the second broadcaster killed in Aklan province in a span of three years.

Philippine media groups are saying that a weak judiciary and poor law enforcement are feeding on the so-called "culture of impunity."

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