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Radio broadcaster killed

A radio broadcaster who commented on corruption in his province was gunned down by two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle on 22 August in Enrique B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, Philippines, report the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Neil Jimena broadcast political commentary on the DYRI-RMN Radio show "Husgador" ("Judge") in nearby Iloilo, buying airtime under a common Philippine practice known as "block-timing."

According to CPJ, the local "Visayan Daily Star" newspaper said Jimena had received threats from a politician he criticised on air before his death. Agence France-Presse reported that a local business person funded his show.

Senior police officer Leonard Cobing told CMFR Jimena's murder may be linked to his commentaries or his alleged tie to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as an informant.

Jimena's family and colleagues told CMFR that they believe Jimena's killing was work-related. Jimena and his co-anchor Cezar Borongan had criticised local government officials and personalities allegedly involved in corrupt activities in Iloilo.

Michael Jimena, Neil's brother, told CMFR Neil had received several threats, and had survived a shooting attack in September 2009.

If work-related, the killing of Jimena will be the fifth case of a journalist killed in the line of duty under the new administration of President Benigno Aquino, says CMFR. CMFR has recorded a total of 121 work-related killings since 1986.

The Philippines has one of the worst records worldwide for investigating and solving journalists' murders. The country was third worst on CPJ's 2011 Impunity Index, which calculates unsolved media killings as a percentage of the population.

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    CPJ is investigating the killing of Niel Jimena to determine whether it was work-related.

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