Philippine journalist killed in crossfire

New York, June 3, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists offered condolences today to the family and colleagues of Philippine journalist Jojo Trajano, who was killed in crossfire during a police raid of an alleged organized crime den near Manila. 

A group suspected of drug dealing and theft opened fire on police during the raid at around 2.30 a.m. this morning in Taytay Town, Rizal Province, fatally wounding Trajano and one police officer, according to local and international news reports. A suspect was also killed, the reports said. Trajano, who had accompanied the police in his role as crime reporter for the local Remate newspaper, was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital, according to the reports.

Police detained six people following the incident but said that at least two suspects, including the group’s alleged leader, had evaded arrest, according to the Philippine GMA News Web site. 

“We offer condolences to Jojo Trajano’s family and his colleagues at Remate,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia Program Coordinator. “His death is a sobering reminder of the many risks Philippine journalists face in their daily work.”

Journalists are frequently the target of shooting attacks in the Philippines, which CPJ ranks sixth on its Impunity Index for failing to solve cases of murdered reporters. CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity is seeking justice in journalist murders in the Philippines, in cooperation with local partners.