Gunmen intercept minibus, kill Philippine photographer

New York, May 22, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Philippine government to undertake a thorough and timely investigation into today’s shooting death of freelance photographer Dodie Nuñez.

Local media reports said Nuñez was shot by three men who used a motorcycle to intercept the minibus in which he was riding in the town of General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite province. Initial news reports said police had not determined a possible motive. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the killing was work-related.

Local media reports identified Nuñez as a photojournalist who worked mainly for the local newspaper Katapat. The paper is owned by Archie Gadang, who waged an unsuccessful campaign for provincial governor. The winner of last week’s gubernatorial election, Ireneo Maliksi, has filed a libel lawsuit against Gadang for publishing corruption allegations, the GMA News Web site reported. Many provincial journalists in the Philippines have close ties to local politicians, CPJ research shows.