IN THE KNOW: PH third in 2010 Impunity Index
MANILA, Philippines—On Jan. 24, radio commentator Gerry Ortega was shot dead by a lone gunman while he was shopping in a used clothes store in Puerto Princesa City after his daily morning broadcast. He suffered bullet wounds in the head and body.
Ortega, anchor of the Radyo Mo Nationwide (RMN) local affiliate dwAR talk show “Ramatak,” was the 142nd journalist killed since 1986, and the third journalist to be murdered under the Aquino administration, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.
On July 3, 2010, Jose Daguio, former anchor and reporter for Radyo Natin-Kalinga was gunned down in his home in Kalinga province.
A week later, Miguel Belen, a reporter of radio dwEb-FM in Nabua, Camarines Sur, was shot and wounded by motorcycle-riding men in an ambush. Belen died on July 31, after weeks of fighting for his life in a hospital in Iriga City.
In June 2010, the Barack Obama administration pledged to help then incoming President Benigno Aquino III to curb media killings.
The Philippines placed third in the 2010 Impunity Index by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which highlights countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes.
The killing of 30 journalists—among 57 people massacred in Maguindanao province in November 2009—catapulted the Philippines from sixth to third in the Impunity Index. The killings were the deadliest single-day attack anywhere in the world on journalists.
“The massacre overshadowed gains that the Philippine authorities had made, winning convictions in two journalist murders,” the committee said.
It, however, said that “aside from the Maguindanao ambush, the country’s abysmal impunity record showed some signs of turnaround with convictions in the 2006 killing of Armando Pace and the 2005 murder of Edgar Amoro.”
The journalists killed in Maguindanao were among the over 130 Filipinos enshrined in the Journalists Memorial at the Newseum in Washington, dubbed by media practitioners as the “shrine of news.” Inquirer Research
Sources: CPJ and Inquirer Archives
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