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Philippines 11 December 2006

A journalist killed by teen hit-men, another reporter threatened by a police officer

Reporters Without Borders expressed outrage at the death of a radio presenter who has been murdered in the north of the country, bringing to 11 the number of journalists and media workers killed in the Philippines in 2006.

“The death of Ponciano Grande, 53, tragically confirms that the wave of murders of journalists and political activists has still not been halted,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“Police and the courts must work together to resolve this case and arrest those responsible, who are teenage contract killers”, it said.

The organisation said it had been able to confirm that three of the 11 murdered journalists were killed because of their work.

Elsewhere, a radio reporter has stopped leaving her home after a police officer on Palawan island, south-west of Manila, made a death threat against her.

Grande, presenter on local FM station dwJJ and former editorialist on local publications The Recorder and Nueva Ecija Times, was killed on 7 December while visiting friends in Barangay, in the Cabanatuan area, Nueva Ecija province.

The journalist, who was former director of the Nueva Ecija press club, also owned a ranch. According to the website INQ7, he was gunned down by five .45 calibre bullets fired from a handgun by two men riding on a motorbike. His wife, who was present at the scene, told police that the killers were teenagers.

Elsewhere, Lourdes Escaros-Paet, reporter on local FM radio dyPR, has since 10 November been under death threat from police officer Antonio Magbanua in Puerto Princessa, Palawan island.

Before being dismissed the policeman went on a local radio three times to accuse and threaten the journalist. He is implicated in cases of people- trafficking, kidnapping children, corruption and abuse of power. Escaros-Paet has been placed under protection and has remained holed up at her home for fear of reprisals.

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
Philippines - Annual report 2008
Philippines - Annual report 2007
Philippines - Annual report 2006

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