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Another broadcaster gunned down in Mindanao

Second fatal shooting in little more than a week

Another broadcaster gunned down in Mindanao

Michael Milo and his children (photo from Milo's Facebook account) reporter, Manila

December 9, 2013

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A second broadcaster has been shot dead in the southern Philippines in little more than a week, reinforcing the country’s reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.

Broadcaster Michael Milo was gunned down by unknown assailants in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur province, on Friday.

The killing of Milo, host of a daily radio show and a program director of DXFM radio, follows the death of broadcaster Joas Dignos, who was shot and killed by gunmen in Valencia, Bukidnon province, on November 29.

Milo had been receiving death threats.

The National Press Club of the Philippines said the increasing number of killings targeting members of the press is "fast becoming a calamity that can only get worse because the government is treating it… with disdain and apathy."

The government is "not doing anything substantial to stop the culture of impunity, much less arrest suspects," press club president Benny Antiporda said.

There have been more than 10 journalists killed in the provinces in this year alone, he said.

Even in Manila, journalists are regularly harassed and threatened by the well connected and the powerful in our society, he added.

The government says it has created a special investigative unit to hunt the killers of journalists.

"We have already commanded the Philippine National Police to do everything in their power to capture those who killed Milo," said presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr.

Human Rights Watch, however, criticized the government over its failure to bring killers of journalists to justice.

"It is insulting to the victims and their families that the [government] has not only failed to deliver on its promise to end impunity for extrajudicial killings but also sought to downplay these attacks against media workers," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranks the Philippines as the third worst in its “impunity index” of countries that fail to fight violence against the press.

The CPJ said at least 72 journalists had been murdered since 1992, not counting the cases of Dignos and Milo.

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