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A Filipino radio journalist who had reported on drug trafficking and government corruption was shot and killed June 9, the third journalist to be killed in the Asian country since May 4.

A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed Nilo Baculo, 67, near his home in Capalan City, 103 miles (165 km) south of the capital Manila, according to Australia’s Sky News.

Baculo served as an anchor for the local radio station dwIM. In February 2008, Baculo petitioned the Supreme Court for a temporary protection order, claiming that he had learned of a plot on his life after reporting on local politicans’ alleged involvement in illegal drug trade. The high court granted a temporary protection, but in June of that year an appellate court denied the journalist’s petition saying that his case lacked sufficient evidence.

The Filipino government condemned the killing, and a presidential spokesman said the National Police had been instructed to “exert all efforts” to find those responsible for the killing, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Baculo’s killing follows that of radio broadcaster

Samuel Bravo Oliverio, who was shot dead on May 23. Another radio journalist, Richard Nadjid, was gunned down May 4.

If Baculo’s death is indeed work-related, he will be the 25th journalist killed for his reporting since President Benigno Aquino III came to power in 2010, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ noted that the Philippines follows only Iraq in the number of journalists killed in direct relation to their work since 1992.

The Philippines ranks third after Iraq and Somalia on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which measures the number of unsolved media killings as a percentage of a country’s population.

Following Baculo’s death, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines criticized government efforts to protect journalists. “We will continue to call out Mr. Aquino, as we have called out the presidents before him, for their accountability in our colleagues’ deaths, not least of all because of their apathy,” the group said in a statement on its website. “We will never tire of pointing out that the State’s failure to protect its own citizens makes it accountable for each and every extrajudicial murder that makes a mockery of all claims to our being a democracy.”

 

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