Reporters Without Borders is dismayed to learn that photo-journalist Mario Sy was fatally shot yesterday in his home in General Santos City, in the far-south province of South Cotabato, by a gunman who immediately fled.
Sy was the third journalist to be gunned down in the Philippines in the space of two days.
“As in the double-murder of Bonifacio Loreto and Richard Kho just two days before, the method used in the Sy murder shows that he was clearly targeted,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“We urge investigators not to neglect the possibility that these journalists were killed in connection with his work, and we urge the authorities to put all the necessary resources at their disposal, so that they can identify those responsible for these cold-blooded murders and bring them so justice
“If suspicions are confirmed, Sy’s death brings to six the number of journalists killed in connection with their work so far this year in the Philippines. This puts it among the world’s deadliest countries for media personnel, alongside Syria and Pakistan. This is unacceptable. Impunity breeds more violence, which will only be stopped by exemplary punishments.”
Sy was shot twice by an unidentified individual who had entered his home. The Centre for Media Freedom and Responsibility today quoted relatives as saying Sy had drawn attention to drug trafficking in his photo-reporting. The media he worked for including Sapol News Bulletin, a local newspaper.
Loreto and Kho, who worked for the Aksyon Ngayon newspaper, were shot in Quezon City, on the northern island of Luzon, on 30 July by two gunmen who immediately fled.
Philippines is ranked 140th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.