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Philippines behind Iraq, Somalia in slain journalists


ABS CBN News
Friday, May 03, 2013

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For the fourth-straight year, the Philippines placed third-worst worldwide among countries that had the most number of journalists killed and the killers remain free.

The Philippines has 55 unresolved cases of media workers killed since 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) Impunity Index published Thursday.

This, despite President Benigno Aquino III's vow to reverse impunity in journalist murders, the CPJ said in its report.

With an estimated population of 94.9 million, the Philippines has a rating of 0.580 in the 2013 Impunity Index.

Somalia, which placed second-worst has fewer unsolved journalist murders, but also has a smaller population, resulting in a 2.396 rating.

Iraq, which topped the list, has no convictions obtained in 93 journalist slayings in the past decade, the CPJ said.

The other countries on the top 12 worst list on unresolved journalist killings are:

    Sri Lanka,
    Colombia,
    Afghanistan,
    Mexico,
    Pakistan,
    Russia,
    Brazil,
    Nigeria, and
    India.

According to the CPJ, cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been won.

"The 2011 (Gerry) Ortega murder reflects the politically inspired nature of the large majority of Philippine killings, along with the general breakdown in the rule of law that has allowed the killings to continue," it added.

A gunman shot dead Ortega, a Palawan environmentalist and broadcast journalist, while shopping in Puerto Princesa City.

"Police soon made arrests and traced the murder weapon to a provincial governor’s aide. But the case suffered a severe blow in 2013 when an alleged conspirator who had turned state witness was killed in prison," the CPJ said.

The worst year on record on number of Filipino journalists killed was in 2009, when 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers were killed in the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao province.

The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) told ABS-CBNNews.com that since the Cory Aquino administration in 1986,
197 Filipino journalists and media workers have been killed, with 130 of them in the line of duty.

The CMFR added that 12 work-related journalist killings have occurred under the current administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The latest deaths under the Aquino government are:

    Miguel Belen (dwEB, Camarines Sur, July 31, 2010)
    Gerardo Ortega (dwAR, Palawan, Jan. 24, 2011)
    Marlina Flores Sumera (dzME, Malabon, Mar. 24, 2011)
    Romeo Olea (dwEB, Camarines Sur, June 13, 2011)
    Niel Jimena (dyRI, Negros Occidental, August 22, 2011)
    Roy Quijada Gallego (dxSF, Surigao del Sur, October 14, 2011)
    Antonio Silagon (Bohol Balita Daily News, Bohol, December 15, 2011)
    Aldion Layao (dxRP, Davao City, April 8, 2012)
    Rommel Palma (dxMC – Bombo Radyo Koronadal, April 30, 2012)
    Nestor Libaton (dxHM, Davao Oriental, May 8, 2012)
    Julius Cauzo (dwJJ, Cabanatuan City, Nov. 8, 2012)
    Edgardo "Egay" Adajar (101.5 Hot FM, San Pablo City Laguna, Jan. 2, 2013)



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