Catholic journalist murdered in PhillipinesMonday, May 14th, 2012
Nestor Libaton (pictured), a 40-year-old Catholic journalist working for the DXHM Radio Catholic station in the town of Mati, near Davao, on the island of Mindanao, was killed last Tuesday, May 8, by three armed gunmen.
Libaton is the third journalist killed in the Philippines in the past 15 days. Rommel Palma was killed in Koronadal City on April 24, and Michael Calanasan was shot in Laguna on April 30.
55 media workers have been killed there in the last 10 years; 151 since 1986. Many dozens of missionaries and human rights activists have also been killed on Mindanao.
Archbishop Jose Palma, President of the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, speaking on Radio Veritas, condemned the incident and urged the authorities to solve the case as soon as possible.
We hope and pray that the authorities will act on it and that justice may be pursued, the prelate said during a Radyo Veritas broadcast.
Fr Francis Lucas, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Social Communications of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Fides, "We are shocked and saddened by the murder of Libaton. They killed an honest person, an innocent man, married and father of four children. We condemn the violence and demand justice.
Radio DXHM Mati, also called Radio of Truth, is part of the radio circuit sponsored by the Church. It is a broadcasting service to the people, very attentive to the culture of life and development issues in Mindanao. In recent weeks, even Libaton had talked a lot about these values.
"Recently, another Catholic radio station in the north of Manila was destroyed by vandals. These gestures intend to intimidate and silence the voices that defend values like truth, justice, human rights. But the Church in the Philippines will continue to proclaim the Gospel and will not be silenced."
by Gerard Bennett (source: ICN)