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Philippines remains 7th deadliest country for journalists in global index

THE PHILIPPINE remains the seventh deadliest country in the world for journalists in terms of unsolved killings, according to a press freedom organization.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its 2021 Global Impunity Index report released on Thursday evening that the country retained its spot from last year, with 13 unsolved murders from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Among unresolved murders recorded by the CPJ were those of broadcasters Virgilio Maganes and Jobert Bercasio who were killed on Sept. 14, 2020 and Nov. 10, 2020 respectively.

Both often covered local political issues and were shot multiple times with their attackers immediately leaving the scene.

The report comes weeks after Rappler chief executive officer Maria A. Ressa won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize along with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition of democracy and lasting peace.”

Somalia remained the world’s worst country when it comes to unresolved killings of journalists, followed by Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Afghanistan in this year’s index.

A total of 278 journalists around the world were killed from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2021, with 81% of these cases or 226 murders having no convictions for the crime.

However, the CPJ said that the latest data doesn’t reflect the increased danger to journalists in Afghanistan following the country’s takeover by the Taliban in August. — Russell Louis C. Ku

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