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Three journalists killed in one week

Three Filipino journalists have been murdered in the final days of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's tenure, report the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members. The President's reign has been emblematic of impunity and media murders.

It began when two radio journalists were killed within two days. On 14 June, Desidario Camangyan was killed while hosting a singing competition in Manay, Davao Oriental. The gunman shot him in the back of the head while the journalist was seated on stage, and then fled. Local journalists say they believe the murder was work-related. Camangyan and his colleagues had been covering illegal logging for almost a month, and had received threats. He had also campaigned for the incumbent mayor of Mati City, the provincial capital, in the May elections.

The next day, Jovelito Agustin was shot four times by two men on a motorcycle in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. He died in the hospital on 16 June. Agustin's public affairs show dealt with problems in the province and election issues. He was known for his frank on-air commentaries against official corruption, and received death threats in the weeks before being killed. On 7 May, his house was riddled with bullets.

Then on 19 June, a reporter for "The Kastigador" weekly newspaper, Nestor Bedolido, was killed by gunmen in Digos City, Davao del Sur. He was shot six times while buying cigarettes. The journalist's son told the "Philippine Daily Inquirer" he thought the murder was politically motivated; he also said his father worked for the gubernatorial candidate Claude Bautista as a writer during the elections. A local journalist said Bedolido might have been killed because he was writing exposés against a politician in Davao del Sur.

"The murder of three journalists in one week underscores the urgency with which President-elect Benigno Aquino must act to reverse the outrageous trend of media killings in the Philippines," said CPJ.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Related stories on ifex.org
  • Another radio journalist killed

    Radio commentator Joselito Agustin was known for his scathing on-air commentaries against official corruption and other illegal activities.

  • Radio broadcaster shot dead

    Desidario Camangyan's hard-hitting commentaries against illegal logging operations are a possible motive in the attack.



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