Reporters Without Borders condemned the murder in Pagadian city on 20 January 2006 of radio journalist Rolly Canete, gunned down by two unidentified men riding on a motorcycle.
Seven journalists were murdered in the Philippines in 2005 and several have been killed in Pagadian, in Zamboanga del sur province in the south of the country over the past few years.
Canete, aged about 60, was working for deputy Antonio Cerilles, a member of the opposition NPC party, as well as for his wife, Aurora Cerilles, the provincial governor. His job was to criticise their political opponents in broadcasts put out daily on local radios: DXPR (Radio Mindanao network), and two owned personally by Antonio Cerilles, DXPA and DXBZ.
“Reporters Without Borders is appalled at the violence that stalks journalists in the Philippines. Expressing oneself freely in this country often amounts to signing one’s own death warrant”, said the organisation, which urged the international community to react in support of the country, one of the world’s most dangerous for journalists.
No witnesses have yet come forward and no suspects have been arrested. Police have opened an investigation into the case and are pursuing the lead that it was committed for personal or political reasons.
Edgar Damalerio, a radio reporter on public radio DXKP, was murdered in Pagadian on 13 May 2002. Damalerio, who was also editor of the local newspaper Zamboanga Scribe, was killed after publishing a series of articles on corruption in political and police circles. His friend and witness to the murder, Edgar Amoro, was killed in his turn in the same city on 2 February 2005.