MANILA, Philippines – With at least 72 journalists killed since 1992, the Philippines is the 2nd deadliest country for journalists in 2011, international organization Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its annual report.
The 2011 CPJ ranking was due to the “persistent violence” that journalists, particularly those working in the provinces, face as they do their work, the annual “Attacks on the Press” report said.
The country also ranks 3rd in the Impunity Index, a ranking of countries based on unsolved cases of journalist murders.
Iraq still tops the 2011 list, with 151 unsolved cases as of that year. The Philippines is followed by Algeria (60 cases), Russia (53), Colombia (43), Pakistan (41), Somalia (36), India (27), Mexico (27), and Afghanistan (24).
“Despite high levels of press and Internet freedom, provincial journalists worked under constant threat of reprisal,” the report, released Tuesday, February 21, said.
It cited the murders of journalists Gerry Ortega and Romeo Olea, who were both shot and killed for their reporting in the past year. Both cases are still unsolved.
The report also cited the “undue process” in the Maguindanao massacre trial, which the report said has “intensified in rhetoric and bogged down in technicalities.”
The CPJ report said without further committment to finish the case, the country could fail the “litmus test” case.
The Freedom of Information bill was also cited, citing opposition to the proposed law due to possible effects on access to official documents.
Based in New York, the CPJ is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.