Director-General urges investigation into killing of journalists R. Butalib, M. Diaz Milo and J. Dignos in the Philippines


The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged the authorities of the Philippines to ensure that those responsible for the killings of broadcasters Rogelio Butalib, Michael Diaz Milo and Joas Dignos, murdered in separate attacks recently, are brought to justice. The attacks took place in different locations in the southern Philippines region of Mindanao.

“I condemn the attacks that claimed the lives of journalists Rogelio Butalib, Michael Diaz Milo and Joas Dignos,” the Director-General said. “It is very important that those responsible for these murders be brought to trial. Media workers in the Philippines have been paying a heavy price for exercising their right to free speech and providing society with independent news and reports.”

Rogelio “Tata” Butalid, 46, blocktime commentator at Radyo Natin, was shot dead right outside the station’s studios in the city of Tagum on 11 December.

Michael Diaz Milo, a talk show host for DXFM radio, was killed in Tandag City on 06 December by unidentified gunmen.

DXGT radio broadcaster, Joas Dignos, was shot dead in the city of Valencia on 29 November.

This year alone, the Director-General condemned a total of eight journalist killings in the Philippines. These statements can be found in the dedicated page, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at),  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”