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Thursday, August 05, 2004

IHT: Danger for Philippine journalists

IHT: Danger for Philippine journalists: "Danger for Philippine journalists
Carlos H. Conde IHT
Thursday, August 5, 2004

MANILA Two journalists have been killed in the Philippines in less than a week, raising concerns from media groups about the deteriorating press-freedom situation in a country they already have termed the most dangerous for journalists in Asia.

Unidentified gunmen killed a Filipino broadcaster on Thursday, the police said. The broadcaster, Arnel Manalo, a correspondent of a Manila tabloid and a radio station, had just dropped off his children at school in Bauan, a town 88 kilometers, or 55 miles, south of Manila, when the assailants shot him.

Manalo was the fourth Filipino journalist killed this year and the 54th journalist murdered since the country's return to democracy in 1986.

On Saturday, gunmen killed a radio broadcaster, Rogelio Mariano of Ilocos Province. Colleagues said he had been exposing corruption and incompetence in government as well as illegal gambling.

Members of the Senate asked it to investigate the series of murders.

Media groups urged the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to act as well.

'Philippine authorities must act to end a culture of impunity that has made it unsafe for journalists to work,' said Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Last year, Arroyo offered an $18,000 reward for the capture of killers of journalists. No one has been convicted for any of the 54 murders since 1986."

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