GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – A total of three journalists were gunned down in the Philippines this week, in what officials describe as the worst spate of media killings in nearly four years, AFP reported.
The latest victim, 53-year old freelance news photographer Mario Sy, was killed in front of his wife and teenage daughter late Thursday (August 1st) by two suspects who broke into his home in the southern city of General Santos.
Publisher of the local paper Sapol News said Sy had been openly critical of neighbourhood drug dealers.
On Tuesday, two columnists from a tabloid newspaper that stopped publishing in March, were gunned down in Manila. Richard Kho, 47 and Bonifacio Loreto, 59, had both written about "political" issues that could have made enemies, according to Rupert Mangilit, secretary-general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
Carlos Conde, a Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch told AFP, "It is indeed very worrisome."