UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of Philippine journalists Richard Kho and Bonifacio Loreto in the capital, Manila, on Tuesday 30 July. Both reporters were columnists for the Aksyon Ngayon, a weekly tabloid newspaper.
According to media and police reports, the men were shot several times by two assailants on motorcycles as they chatted in front of a convenience store in the Quezon City neighborhood.
“The murders of Richard Kho and Bonifacio Loreto must not go unpunished,” the Director-General said. “I urge the authorities in the Philippines to do their utmost to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.
“The murder of a journalist is a direct attack against the basic right of freedom of expression, and society’s right to access information. It requires a swift response to show those who would use fear and violence to silence the media that such acts will not be tolerated.”
Three journalists have now been killed in the Philippines in 2013. They are remembered on UNESCO’s dedicated web site UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org +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…”