Filipino Radio Commentator Shot Dead

From the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines:

A radio brodcaster was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen in General Santos City on Sunday afternoon.

Dodong Morales, anchorman of “Tingog sa Barangay” (Voice of the Village) program of Radio Mindanao Network, was inside his car when eight motorcycle-riding gunmen shot him around 5:30 pm.

He was the sixth Filipino mediaperson killed this year and the 69th since 1986 when democracy was restored in the country.

Morales, who just finished his radio show a few minutes before the incident happened, suffered 15 gunshot wounds and died before he was brought to the hospital.

A week before the ambush, Morales reportedly accused several barangay (village) officials in General Santos City of involvement in summary executions.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) “strongly condemned” the incident.

“The ambush of Morales highlights the dangerous situation faced by journalists in the Philippines,” said Jose Torres Jr., chairman of the Commission for the Protection of Journalists of the NUJP.

The NUJP called on authorities to immediately investigate the incident. The media organization also called on all Filipino journalists to unite and fight attempts to silence the media.

“Despite the government’s claims on upholding press freedom, six journalists have been killed this year,” Torres said.

The Philippines has been declared second only to Iraq, a war-torn nation, in having the most number of journalists murdered. Aside from killings, a number of Filipino journalists have been threatened.

Last week Carlos Marquez Jr., a freelance journalist in Nueva Ecija, accused provincial board member Napoleon Interior of harassment.

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