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Philippines 2 July 2008

Journalist gunned down in Quezon province

Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to deploy sufficient resources for the investigation into yesterday’s murder of journalist Robert Sison, who was killed when two men on a motorcycle fired on his car in Sariaya, a town in Quezon province 100 km southeast of the capital.

“The motive for this shooting is not yet known, and it is important that the police, the Task Force that specialises in attacks on journalists, and the judicial authorities do not ignore the possibility that it was linked to Sison’s work as a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“If this murder remains unpunished, as so many other murders of journalists have, it will be another defeat for the rule of law,” the press freedom organisation added. “Combatting violence against journalists and human rights activists should be a priority for the government.”

Sison, 60, was driving home with his two daughters when the two men on a motorcycle overtook them and opened fire on the car, hitting Sison nine times. His elder daughter, 30-year-old Liwayway, sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. His younger daughter, Amirah, avoided being shot by playing dead.

Sison hosted a programme called Harana on dzAT-AM, a radio station based in the nearby city of Lucena, and was a correspondent for Regional Bulletin, a Lucena-based weekly that covered crime and other local stories, including stories that sometimes upset local officials. His two daughter also work for the weekly.

Sison’s wife told the press: “My husband and my daughters never did any harm to anyone. They just did their work as journalists.” She added that she tried to stop them leaving home yesterday morning because she sensed “danger coming.”

Sison is the third journalist to be murdered this year in the Philippines.

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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