Radio journalist gunned down in the Philippines

New York, April 22, 2013–Authorities in the Philippines should thoroughly investigate today’s murder of a radio journalist, identify the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Mario Vendiola Baylosis was killed by two unidentified gunmen in the town of Kabasalan in the southern province of Zamboanga Sibugay, according to news reports.

“These kinds of attacks against members of the media are rooted in a culture of impunity in the Philippines, where killers of journalists are rarely brought to justice” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “We call on authorities to identify the motive behind this murder and bring the perpetrators to account.”

Two assailants on a motorcycle shot Baylosis, 33, as he was heading home from work also on a motorcycle, news reports said. The journalist, who was known on his radio show as Kuya Mar, had just completed his 10 a.m. radio broadcast. Baylosis sustained three gunshot wounds in the chest and died on the way to a local hospital, reports said.

The attackers fled the scene in the direction of the town of Ipil, according to regional police spokesman Ariel Huesca.

Baylosis worked as an announcer for Radyo Natin, which covers news and entertainment, reports said. He also worked as a news correspondent for DXNC-Radyo Suhnan in the municipality of Siay, according to news reports citing DXNC station manager Jerry Kimos. It is unclear whether Baylosis had covered any sensitive stories prior to his death.

No individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. Police have said they are investigating the murder.

CPJ research shows that at least 73 Philippine journalists have been killed since 1992, making the Philippines the second deadliest country in the world for the press. At least 55 journalist murders in the past decade have been unresolved, according to CPJ research. Philippines ranks third on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.

  • For more data and analysis on Philippines, visit CPJ’s Attacks on the Press.