Apr 7, 2005


The College Editors Guild of the Philippines strongly condemns the blatant disregard of the Macapagal Arroyo regime towards the lives and welfare of mainstream journalists, which resulted into the third journalist murder of the year, Tacurong City journalist Marlene Garcia Esperat.

The incapability of the Arroyo regime to protect mainstream journalists, whose lives are constantly under threat because of the powerful people and interests they clash with as they do their job, has resulted into a regime of silent terror masquerading as peace and order. Media serves as a refuge of the people when the state, due to corruption, has failed to serve their interests. Yet, people in the mainstream are prevented from doing their duties under the threat of repression, and even death. As journalists fear for their lives, press freedom is rendered as a right written on paper, but never enjoyed.

Twenty journalists have been slain in 2002 and 2003, and if we follow the trend this year, more or less there will be more than 10 journalists slain by the end of the year. Unless this is stopped and the perpetrators, regardless of their position in society, are brought to justice, President Arroyo will confirm what her so- called terrorists have been saying all along: government policy is anti-people.

We, along with our colleagues in the mainstream press, demand President Arroyo to resolve these threats towards press freedom. Justice, not just for Esparat, but also for the families of increasing number of journalists murdered within the Arroyo regime is imperative. The killing of journalists must stop, and their lives given the value they properly deserve. Unless all of these conditions are fulfilled, President Arroyo risks not just the ire of both the mainstream and the campus press, but also the people the press serves.

Jose Cosido
National President

National Office
812-A Basilio St., Sampaloc
Manila, Philippines
Telefax: (632) 493 0082
Email: cegpnational@yahoo.com
Members e-group: guilders2001@yahoogroups.com