Editorial from Manila Bulletin

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A Manila radio reporter and broadcaster, Jose Bernardo, was shot and killed in Quezon City last Saturday. He was the 170th journalist to be killed in the Philippines since 1986, the year press freedom was restored with the EDSA People Power Revolution that ended martial law and the dictatorship.

The killing took place just two days before the observance on November 2 of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, a day set aside by the United Nations in 2013 to call on member states to implement definite measures to end the culture of impunity in these crimes.

Manila radio reporter and broadcaster, Jose Bernardo.

Manila radio reporter and broadcaster, Jose Bernardo.

The Philippines is one of four countries which the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) based in Brussels, Belgium, said have the worst records of impunity in the killing of journalists. The other three are Mexico, Yemen, and Ukraine.

Fifty journalists have been killed in line of duty in Mexico since 2010, 89 percent of which cases remain unsolved. In Yemen, there have been 15 killings since 2011. In Ukraine, eight have been killed since 2014. The Philippines holds the record: 170 journalist killings – including Bernardo – since 1986. Of the total, 32 were killed in the Maguindanao massacre of 2009.

This observance of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will continue this year up to November 23, the sixth anniversary of the massacre, with the third week especially devoted to the Philippines as it holds the record in journalist killings. The Maguindanao massacre is also the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world in history.

The Philippines is one of four countries which the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) based in Brussels, Belgium, said have the worst records of impunity in the killing of journalists.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has been keeping count on the number of journalists killed in this country. Worldwide, the International Federation of Journalists leads the annual campaign whose principal goal is to “hold world governments and de facto authorities accountable for impunity records for crimes targeting journalists.”

Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced. There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear,” the IFJ said.

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