Reporters Without Borders voiced mounting concern about violence against journalists and the news media in the Philippines today after a second journalist was gunned down in the space of three days. The latest victim was Roberto Ramos of Katapat, a newspaper based in Laguna, southeast of Manila, who was shot dead yesterday for as yet unclear reasons.
“Although no links have yet been established between these two murders and what the victims were working on, the government’s efforts to enable reporters to practice their trade without fear seem inadequate and we urge the authorities to step up protection for the media,” the press freedom organisation said.
Ramos was at the side of the road near his newspaper in Cabuyao (about 100 km southeast of Manila) yesterday when two men on motorcycle stopped next to him and one of them shot him twice in the head with a .38 pistol, killing him instantly.
Radio reporter Ricardo “Ding” Uy, a member of the radical left-wing party Bayan Muna and head a local reporters’ association, was gunned down in similar circumstances in Sorsogon City on 18 November.
Jose Torres, the president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said: “The growing practice of violence towards the media and journalists is unacceptable acceptable (...) Philippine journalists are in danger, despite the government’s statements of support for press freedom.”
Before these latest murders, Reporters Without Borders had registered five journalists killed in connection with their work since the start of the year in the Philippines, which is now the deadliest country in the world for journalists after Iraq.