Shooting the Messenger (2)

“Two journalists slain in five days; four killed in 2004,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines reports in a statement.

Last Saturday, Roger Mariano, a DZJC-Akyson radio anchor in Laoag was shot dead while on his way home. Yesterday, Arnel Manalo, Batangas correspondent of Bulgar tabloid and the radio station DZRH, suffered the same fate.

“The one factor visibly missing in the Philippines is public indignation widespread and compelling enough to make it politically advantageous for the Philippine government to rigorously go after the killers,” writes Philippine Journalism Review editor Luis Teodoro.

In stressing the need for Filipino journalists to deserve the public’s protection,” he quoted an statement by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange: “We urge journalists across the Philippines to be vigilant and to close ranks to protect themselves against (attacks and assassinations) by arming themselves with the truth and a high level of professionalism in carrying out their work. Unless they are so armed, and thus indispensable to their communities, journalists will continue to be killed in this country, with very few caring enough to want the killings to stop.”

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