Monday, October 09, 2006

Condemn other attacks and threats as well

Attacks against journalists, like journalist killings, are grave threats to press freedom. We should unite together in condemning not only the killings but other attacks and threats as well.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines came out with this statement last September 23:

PNP should investigate attack against Baguio NUJP officer

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Baguio-Benguet chapter strongly condemns the attack against a member of its council on her way home last September 19, 2006 at 7:30 pm in the Benguet State University (BSU) compound in Betag, La Trinidad.

Abigail Taguba Bengwayan, 25, is former editor of the Northern Dispatch Weekly and a council member of the NUJP's local chapter. She is an occasional contributor to various media outlets and is a writer of the publication of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance (CPA).

Abigail just got off the jeepney in front of the BSU main gate and crossed the street towards their compound where her family lives when an unidentified man rushed and grabbed her and put a knife to her neck threatening to cut her if she screams. But she resisted and screamed for help. This startled the assailant to drop her and run. Witnesses said the attacker, whose face was covered with a cap and handkerchief, had a companion who served as a lookout or accomplice.

A team of human rights lawyers and paralegal activists assisted Abigail in filing the report of the attack to the Philippine National Police (PNP) office in La Trinidad.

We strongly urge the PNP to immediately investigate, pursue and arrest the perpetrators of this crime against Ms. Bengwayan, a member of media and an activist. We equally demand the speedy delivery of justice for her as well as to the whole community vigilant against crime and injustice.


Arthur Allad-iw – 09202442202
Junjun Dumlao - 09209053169

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