Reporters Without Borders condemned the fatal shooting today of newspaper photographer Albert Orsolino in Caloocan City (just to the north of Manila), which came on the heels of a shooting on 6 May in which a radio reporter was seriously wounded and a grenade attack on another radio reporter last month.
“It is vital that the Philippine National Police should investigate Orsolino’s murder properly, establishing the motives and identifying those responsible, and that they do not rule out the possibility that he was killed because of his work,” the press freedom organisation said.
“We also call on the authorities to go after those responsible for two other recent attacks on radio reporters, and to provide better protection for the press,” Reporters Without Borders added.
Orsolino, who worked for the Saksi Ngayon daily newspaper, was shot by two gunmen while at the wheel of his car. He was carrying a gun himself. His colleagues said he had taken lots of photos in controversial cases and could have been killed because of his work.
Reporter Paul Manaog of radio dwLL was serious wounded in shooting attack on 6 May in the southern town of Naga (in Camarines Sur province). The head of the Camarines Sur Capitol Press Association, Manaog was out walking with his wife when five gunmen fired at him. He was rushed to the Bicol Medical Center, where he is still in a serious condition. His wife said people he had criticised on the air could have been responsible for the shooting.
Two grenades were thrown into the home of Fernando Batul of radio dyPR in the southern town of Puerto Princesa on 24 April but did not explode. The attackers left a note advising him to “hold his tongue.” Batul said he thought the attack could have been ordered by corrupt local officials he had criticised on his radio station.
A journalist in the southern city of Tacloban, Nestor Abrematea, received a threatening phone call on 4 February, five days after giving a news conference at which he accused the city administration of hiring a shady contractor for a local construction project. Despite the threats, he went on to publish an article on the subject in his weekly, The Tacloban Star.