3 journalists killed in 3 days
The latest victim, freelance news photographer Mario Sy, was killed in front of his wife and child late Thursday by two suspects who broke into his home in General Santos, police said.
The attack followed the shooting deaths in Manila on Tuesday of two columnists of a tabloid that had recently ceased publication, said Rupert Mangilit, secretary general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said at least 73 Philippine journalists have been killed in direct connection to their work since 1992, making it the second deadliest country in the world for the press.
Critics blame this on widespread gun ownership by civilians and a “culture of impunity” that sees many among the powerful not being brought to justice for criminal acts.
“Since the Maguindanao massacre, this marked the first time that we had more than two journalists killed in a week,” Mangilit said.
General Santos police investigator Fernando Torreta said the authorities have yet to establish the motive for the attack on Sy, 53.
“He was shot at his home, in front of his wife and child. The wife gave a deposition to police describing the suspects, but she does not know them. The gunmen fled on a motorcycle,” Torreta added.
Mangilit said the two slain Manila columnists, Richard Kho, 47, and Bonifacio Loreto, 59, had both worked for a small tabloid called Aksyon Ngayon (Action Today) that folded in March. Both had tackled “political” issues that could have won them enemies, he added.