Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) voiced outrage at the fatal shooting today of local radio broadcaster Nelson Nadura on the central island of Masbate. His death brought the number of journalists murdered so far this year in the Philippines to seven, the highest annual total in 15 years.
The organisation stressed that, despite President Gloria Arroyo’s proposal to pay some 15,000 euros to any person helping secure the arrest of the murderer of a journalist, no real progress has been made in the investigations into any of the recent murders.
In a letter to interior minister José D. Lina, the organisation said sufficient resources should be made available to the police so that the circumstances and motives of Nadura’s death could be thoroughly investigated and both those who carried out the killing as well as those behind it could be identified and brought to justice.
Aged about 40, Nadura was shot five times as he was leaving the studios of radio DYME by motorcycle just a few minutes after presenting his morning news programme "Opinion publico", which covers local and national politics. The police were looking for two gunmen who fled from the scene. DYME is owned by the Espinosa family, which is very influential on Masbate island. Several of its members plan to run in next May’s general elections.
A colleague of Nadura told Reporters Without Borders by telephone that the reasons for the killing are unknown. The police have said there could be a link to the guerrillas of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), of which Nadura was once a member.
Nadura was the 43rd journalist to be murdered since 1986. The other six murdered this year were Juan Porras Pala of local radio station dxGo, killed on 6 September; Rico Ramirez of radio dzSF, killed on 20 August; Noel Villarante of local radio station dzJV, killed on 19 August; Bonifacio Gregorio of the local weekly Dyaryo Banat, killed on 8 July; Apolinario "Polly" Podeba of radio dwTI-AM, killed on 17 May; and John Villanueva of radio dzGB-AM, killed on 28 April.