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Friday, 02 August 2013

UPDATE: Third journalist murdered in the Philippines

Photographer gunned down less than 48 hours after two reporters killed 

By: Steven M. Ellis, IPI Senior Press Freedom Adviser

A policeman aligns his shield on the pavement as they wait for protesters to march during International Labour Day near the Malacanang Palace in Manila on May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo

VIENNA, Aug 2, 2013 – An unidentified gunman killed a Filipino photographer yesterday evening, the third murder of a journalist in the country in a 48-hour period this week.

Local media reported that a man entered the General Santos City home of Mario Sy and shot him twice in front of his wife and daughter.

Sy, 53, was taken to a hospital but did not survive. The Philippine Daily Inquirer identified Sy as a photographer for the local tabloid Sapol, but the Sun Star quoted a representative of the National Union Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) as saying that Sy was a freelance journalist who also contributed to other publications, in addition to photographing weddings and other events.

The killer’s motive remained unknown today. Police reportedly have opened an investigation.

The NUJP told the Sun Star that Sy’s death, if proven to be connected to his work, would mark the 158th murder of a media representative in the Philippines since 1986 and the 18th since 2010, when President Benigno Aquino III came to office.

IPI Director of Communications & Public Relations Anthony Mills said: “This marks an extremely sad week for journalists in the Philippines and our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Sy, as well as those of the other two journalists – Mr. Loreto and Mr. Kho – who lost their lives this week. We urge the Philippine government to make every effort to find their killers. Every time that a journalist’s murderer goes unpunished, it fuels the further killing of journalists.”


Two Philippine journalists gunned down
IPI calls for accountability, investigation into killers’ motive

VIENNA, Aug 1, 2013 – The International Press Institute (IPI) today condemned the murder of two Filipino journalists and called on authorities to bring their killers to justice.

Local reports indicated two unidentified men gunned down Bonifacio Loreto Jr., former publisher of the defunct Aksyon Ngayon, and the newspaper’s former executive editor, Richard Kho, on Tuesday night outside a store in Quezon City on the island of Luzon.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Loreto and Kho had been critical of a number of politicians in their respective columns “Bikol Express” and “Clear Shots” in Aksyon Ngayon, which published one issue before folding earlier this year.

Kho’s daughter told the Daily Inquirer that she thought the murder was related to the victims’ work.

IPI Director of Communications & Public Relations Anthony Mills said: “We condemn the murder of Mr. Loreto and Mr. Kho and we urge Philippine authorities to conduct a full investigation into the motives behind this attack and to hold their killers accountable.”

Loreto and Kho are the second and third journalists killed in the Philippines this year. On April 22, unidentified gunmen killed radio broadcaster Mario Vendiola Baylosis in Kabasalan in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay in the country’s south.

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