Tag Archives: International Press Institute

[From the web] A mother’s grief -INQUIRER.net

A mother’s grief.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 30, 2012

The mother of desaperacido Jonas Burgos marked over the weekend the fifth anniversary of his disappearance, but with scaled-down expectation of finding him still alive. In terms both poignant and bitter, Edita Burgos has virtually admitted that prospects have dimmed for her ever finding her son alive, so she has braced herself for the truth. “My standards have gone down through the years,” she said. “Whereas before, I’d say ‘Give him back to me alive and well, and let justice be served,’ now I just want to find out what really happened. Because if I find out the truth, I’ll also find him.”

Jonas is the son of Edita and the late journalist and publisher Jose Burgos Jr., who won the Press Freedom Hero Award from the International Press Institute in 2000. Since April 28, 2007, when Jonas, then a 37-year-old agriculturist, was seized allegedly by military agents in a Quezon City mall, the Burgos family has gone to court, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and even the United Nations seeking to hold the military accountable.

Jonas’ case is among several cases typical of the previous administration that became notorious for several unsolved disappearances and killings of dissidents, fostering a culture of impunity that derided human rights and the rule of law.

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[In the news] UN rights body seeks compensation for jailed Pinoy journalist -ABS-CBNnews.com

UN rights body seeks compensation for jailed Pinoy journalist
ABS-CBNnews.com
February 3, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) wants the Philippine government to compensate a Davao City-based journalist who has been imprisoned for criminal defamation.

The UNHRC believes that the imprisonment of Alexander Adonis violated his right to free expression, according to an international media rights group.

The case stemmed from a 2001 radio broadcast in which Adonis reported on an alleged affair between then House Speaker Prospero Nograles and a married woman, the International Press Institute (IPI) said on Friday.

The UNHRC said the nearly 5-year prison sentence imposed on Adonis was “incompatible” with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The committee reported that Nograles filed a libel complaint against Adonis in response to the story.

The IPI said in 2007, a Davao City court sentenced Adonis to a prison term of 5 months to 4-and-a-half years.

The court also ordered him to pay P100,000 to the congressman for “moral damages” and imposed an additional P100,000 fine to “serve as an example for notorious display of irresponsible reporting,” the IPI added.

In his filing with the UNHRC, Adonis asserted that the libel provisions (Sections 353 and 354) of the Philippines Revised Criminal Code unreasonably infringed upon the right to free speech.

“The current law explicitly presumes malice in all defamatory statements and in nearly all cases rejects defences of truth or public interest,” the IPI said.

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