While following a survey of a property in the context of a land conflict on which he was reporting, the journalist was attacked by soldiers who opened fire. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an investigation to be carried out in a completely independent manner so that this blunder does not go unpunished.
The police account is controversial to say the least. Freelance journalist Ronnie Villamor was killed by soldiers on Saturday, November 14 around 1:30 p.m. in Milagros, a town in the center of the Philippine archipelago, in a “clash” in which the journalist allegedly unsheathed gun.
Problem, this version clearly goes against the one presented by the colleagues of the journalist who was drawing for several publications of the island of Masbate, where he was based.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines , Ronnie Villamor was present at the scene to investigate a land dispute around a property in the town of Matanglad. More specifically, it covered a survey of the land by four individuals requested by the owner.
As such, the journalist even informed the local police station of this operation in Matanglad. There, he and the people he was accompanying were blocked by a group of soldiers. In fact of firearm, it is a telephone that the journalist drew, in order to settle the dispute by calling the police. That’s when the soldiers fired. Touched, the reporter died instantly.
The first elements of the investigation clearly tend to prove that Ronnie Villamor was the victim of a terrible military blunder,” said Daniel Bastard, head of the Asia-Pacific office of RSF. So that no one covers up the perpetrators of the shootings by withholding evidence or testimony, we call on the Philippine authorities to immediately set up a fully independent team to investigate this shocking murder. ”
Ronnie Villamor is the fourth Filipino journalist killed in 2020. Barely ten days ago, reporter Virgilio Maganes was shot dead by two attackers on a motorcycle, outside his home in Villasis, in the north of the Philippine archipelago.
The Philippines is ranked 136th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index by RSF.
Copyright ©2016, Reporters Without Borders. Used with the permission of Reporters Without Borders(RSF), CS 90247 75083 Paris Cedex 02 https://rsf.org
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