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Radio commentator gunned down in Philippines

Journalists march in Manila to mark the second anniversary of the massacre of at least 57 people, including 32 journalists, in Maguindanao on November 23, 2011. The International Day to End Impunity commemorates the massacre. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

New York, November 8, 2012--Authorities in the Philippines must immediately investigate the shooting death of radio journalist Julius Cauzo and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

A gunman riding a motorcycle shot Cauzo, who was also on a motorcycle, around 8.30 a.m. today in the northern Philippine city, Cabanatuan, according to local and international news reports. Cauzo died of three gunshot wounds at a nearby hospital, the reports said. The murder took place in the lead-up to the International Day to End Impunity on November 23, a global campaign to promote justice for killed journalists.

Cauzo was a host and commentator for the local radio station DWJJ, executive vice-president of the Nueva Ecija Press Club, and was known for criticizing local politicians, news reports said. A colleague reported that he had received death threats before the murder, but the reason for the threats was not known, according to local newspaper The Philippine Star. Police are still investigating whether the murder was work-related, according to the reports.    

"We urge police to investigate Julius Cauzo's murder immediately and thoroughly," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. "Impunity in the killing of journalists is an entrenched problem in the Philippines, and requires action from law enforcement as well as sustained attention to the problem through international efforts like the Day to End Impunity."

CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity of five years has focused primarily on the Philippines and Russia, where journalists are killed frequently and prosecutions are rare.
The Philippines ranks third on CPJ's Impunity Index--a list of countries where journalists are murdered and governments fail to solve the crimes--second only to Iraq and Somalia.

On November 23, CPJ will continue the global fight against impunity with the launch of a new digital initiative. You can follow the campaign through CPJ's regional Asia accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

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