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Philippines 1 February 2005

Attempted murder of weekly editor on Mindanao island bodes ill for 2005

The attempted killing of Maximo Quindao, the publisher of the weekly Mindanao Truck News, on 29 January in Tagum on the southern island of Mindanao shows that corrupt politicians and organised crime are continuing to attack the press in the Philippines, Reporters Without Borders said today.

Quindao, 46, was shot four times in the chest outside his office by two gunmen on a motorcycle who immediately fled. He was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.

The undertakings which the authorities have given to improve the security situation must be put into action in all parts of the country, Reporters Without Borders said.

At the same time, a prompt start to the trial of the person charged with the May 2002 murder journalist Edgar Damalerio, who was also from Mindanao, would be a significant step in the struggle against impunity, the press freedom organisation said.

Six journalists were killed in the Philippines in 2004 for doing their job. Seven others were gunned down without it being clear whether they were targeted because of their work, and 10 others were the target of attempted killings.

The police do not know who shot Quindao, a former journalist with Bombo Radyo, and their motive is still unknown. His wife said could have been targeted because of his articles criticising politicians in the Mindanao province of Davao del Norte. And for the past few weeks he had been waging a blistering press campaign against two Tagum officials.

In this country
22 May - Philippines
A journalist on army target list, another shot, possibly by soldier
6 March - Philippines
Second journalist in a week narrowly escapes murder attempt
23 February - Philippines
Radio journalist gunned down on Mindanao island
5 January - Philippines
Radio show host comes under fire near his home
3 December - Philippines
Second Radyo Natin presenter gunned down in less than a month

in the annual report
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