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Philippines 3 December 2008

Second Radyo Natin presenter gunned down in less than a month

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by yesterday’s murder of Leo Mila, a Radyo Natin presenter in San Roque, in the central province of Northern Samar. Mila was gunned down at around 7 p.m. by an unidentified person outside the station’s studios in San Roque.

"The repeated, targeted murders of radio presenters are a disgrace for the Philippines," Reporters Without Borders said. "The safety of all the victim’s colleagues is in danger if nothing is done to rein in the current wave of violence. The impunity must stop and the guilty must be punished."

Mila’s body was found by his colleagues in a grassy area a few metres from the entrance to the station. They said they heard several shots but did not go out at once because it was dark. His motorbike was found lying on its side, not far from the body.

The manager of the San Roque branch of Radyo Natin, Alice Cargo, said Mila recently hosted a debate about anomalies in the collection of money from the parents of students at a local high school. Police planned to question two of the school’s teachers, she said.

Carolina L. Montilla, the head of the local branch of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said Mila was known for speaking out and had received threats for criticising local corruption.

Aged 35, he presented a programme every morning in which he addressed complaints sent in by listeners. He also wrote articles for various regional newspapers and recently published a local magazine An Peryodista. He is survived by his wife and two children.

He was the eighth journalist to be killed since the start of the year in the Philippines and the second Radyo Natin presenter to be gunned down in less than a month. Aristeo Padrigao, a Radyo Natin host in Gingoog City, in Misamis Oriental province, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle outside a school on 17 November after dropping off one of his children.

In this country
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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
17 November - Philippines
Outspoken radio presenter gunned down in Misamis Oriental province

in the annual report
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