Radio journalist killed, second in week

New York, August 5, 2004—Gunmen ambushed and killed a Filipino newspaper and radio correspondent this morning shortly after he dropped his children off at school, according to international news reports and local journalists.

Arnel Manalo, 42, a correspondent for the Manila tabloid Bulgar and radio station DZRH, was the second journalist killed in less than a week and the third in less than two months. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is investigating whether Manalo’s death was tied to his journalistic work.

Two unidentified men on a motorcycle shot Manalo three times at 7:15 a.m. as he was returning home in Bauan, Batangas Province, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Manila, according to news reports. Manalo was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a journalist. Since the Philippines became a democracy in 1986, 43 journalists have been killed for their work. No one has yet been prosecuted for any of these murders.

CPJ is investigating the recent slayings of radio commentator Rogelio “Roger” Mariano, who was killed after completing a Radyo Natin-Radio Aksyon broadcast in Ilocos Norte Province on Saturday, July 31; and Eliseo Binoya of Radyo Natin, who was gunned down in the town of General Santos on the southern island of Mindanao on June 17.

“We are shocked at the regularity of these deadly attacks on Filipino journalists,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. “Authorities have a grave responsibility to carry out full investigations of these violent acts against the press, to find those responsible and to enforce the law.”