Broadcaster slain in latest media killing in Philippines

25 Oct 2017 / 19:35 H.

MANILA: Gunmen have shot and killed a radio journalist in what authorities say is the latest politically motivated killing in Philippines — one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.
Local radio station DXBF anchorman Christopher Iban Lozada, was killed late Tuesday likely over his efforts to oust a town mayor over alleged corruption, a media watchdog said.
Lozada, 29, and his girlfriend were riding in his car in the southern city of Bislig when gunmen opened fire on them, killing Lozada and wounding the woman, according to a police report.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that Lozada was the fifth journalist killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last year and the 178th slain since democracy was restored after dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986.
Lozada had previously filed a corruption complaint against Librado Navarro, the mayor of Bislig, said Jay de Castro, a member of a presidential task force set up specifically to curb threats to journalists.
Earlier this month, Lozada had filed reports with the task force detailing the threats he was receiving and his accusations against the mayor, de Castro told AFP.
Lozada said that "in case anything happens to him, the government or police should go after the mayor," de Castro said.
The task force had offered Lozada police protection but he had declined it, he added.
He said the task force will now seek to press murder charges over Lozada's death.
A study by the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists said last year that the Philippines was the second most dangerous country for the media, surpassed only by Iraq.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office last year, has openly lashed out at journalists over critical coverage of his drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives. — AFP

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