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Radio journalist shot dead in southern Philippines

Eduardo Dizon becomes 13th journalist murdered since Duterte came to power

 Marielle Lucenio, Manila

Marielle Lucenio, Manila

Updated: July 12, 2019 09:02 AM GMT
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Radio journalist shot dead in southern Philippines

Activists hold a demonstration in Manila to protest what they described as continuing attacks against media workers. (Photo by Basilio Sepe)

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A radio journalist was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen in the southern Philippine city of Kidapawan on June 10, adding to the growing number of media workers killed in the country.

Police reports said radio news anchor Eduardo Dizon was shot dead as he was driving home at around 10 p.m. local time.

In a statement, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said Dizon’s death was "likely related to his work as a broadcaster."

Days before his death, Dizon filed a report with police, claiming that he had received several death threats.

One message was a challenge to a duel. A text message was also sent to the radio station's hotline, warning Dizon that he "will die." It added: "Just wait, someone will shoot you."

Dizon became the 13th journalist murdered in the line of duty since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016.

"Dizon’s murder underscores yet again the overwhelming failure of government to ensure justice for violent crime, which can only invite even more bloodshed," the NUJP said in its statement.

The government's Presidential Task Force on Media Security said it was "on top of the situation."

Undersecretary Joel Egco, executive secretary of the task force, flew to Mindanao on July 12 to follow up on the police investigation.

"We have leads and it's a matter of connecting the dots," said Egco as he called on media practitioners to get in contact in times of danger.

The Brigada Group, which runs the radio station where Dizon worked, condemned the killing, describing it as an attempt to silence Brigada media and its news team.

Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch in the Philippines said the killing "underscores the precariousness of press freedom" in the country.

The Philippines is regarded as one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists, with at least 186 media workers killed since 1986.

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