Philippine police must act to stem journalist murders

(source: Committee to Protect Journalists – New York)

New York, June 29, 2009–Police in the Philippines must step up investigations into journalist killings following the shooting death of radio commentator Jonathan Petalvero on Saturday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Petalvero is the fourth Philippine journalist killed this month, the third to be targeted for murder.

A masked gunman late Saturday shot and killed Petalvero in a restaurant in Bayagun, a small town on the southern island of Mindanao, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and international news reports. The gunman fled the scene on a motorcycle, according to the reports. The commentator, who hosted a radio program on DXFM station, was declared dead on arrival at the local hospital, the reports said. (The journalists union noted that some news reports gave conflicting dates for the attack.)

The Philippine national police have established Task Force USIG to investigate media killings in the Philippines, which occur frequently and with near total impunity, according to CPJ research. continue…

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