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Broadcaster shot dead in Philippines

Wednesday 19 Oct 2011
Philippine authorities said a broadcaster was murdered by unidentified gunmen in the southern province of Mindanao, the Mindanao Examiner reports.

Broadcaster shot dead in Philippines

Datu Roy Gallego was shot dead on a highway in the town of Lianga in Surigao del Sur province on 14 October, reportedly by men on a motorcycle.

The motive of the attack was not immediately known, but Mr Gallego, also a Manobo tribal leader, was a harsh critic of mining activities in the province, particularly in areas being claimed as ancestral domain by the natives.

No individual or group claimed responsibility in the killing and no witnesses have surfaced to give information into the murder.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called for Mr Gallego’s death to be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted.

“(Mr) Gallego’s death is emblematic of a much larger problem,” Bob Dietz, the CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator, said.

“In the Philippines, journalism and political activism are often conjoined, and the government must address the murders of journalists who use local media to take on controversial issues that threaten not only their lives but the strength of the nation’s media.”

More than 100 journalists had been killed in the Philippines in the past two decades and many of the cases remain unsolved.