Sunday, March 05, 2006

Radio announcer abducted after PP1017 was lifted

Radio announcer abducted--NUJP
First posted 03:09pm (Mla time) Mar 05, 2006
Agence France-Presse

A RADIO broadcaster has been kidnapped by unidentified armed men in the northern Philippines in the latest attack on the press in this country, a press watchdog said Sunday.

Joey Estriber, 37, a commentator on DZJO radio in the town of Baler in Luzon island was seized near a cafe on Friday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

Witnesses quoted by the union said Estriber cried out for help while he was being dragged to a waiting van with tinted glasses and without a registry number.

Apart from hosting a radio program that tackled various topics including corruption in the military and police forces, Estriber is said to be active in community work and belonged to a non-government organization.

The motive for the abduction was not clear, but local authorities said they were investigating whether it could be related to his work.

International press groups have branded the Philippines among the most dangerous places for working journalists, second only to Iraq.

The Paris-based Reporters sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) in its annual report in 2005 said 63 journalists were killed worldwide that year and 1,300 physically attacked or threatened, making it the deadliest year in a decade.

Of the total deaths, seven were from the Philippines, next only to Iraq, where 24 journalists and five media assistants were slain last year.

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