On Philippines' canvas of injustice, anything goes
By Shawn W. Crispin / CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative
Romeo Olea's unsolved murder is tragically typical of media killings in the Philippines. Before his death, the radio commentator had received anonymous threats over his reports on local government corruption.
He was later shot and killed by motorcycle-riding assassins who fled the crime scene unidentified. Ten months later, police authorities who initially said Olea's murder was likely related to his journalism have failed to make any arrests or identify any suspects.
It is a pattern of impunity that has spanned successive Philippine administrations, including the two-year-old government of President Benigno Aquino. At least four journalists, including Olea, have been killed for their reporting on Aquino's watch. Despite executive vows to turn back the tide of media killings, none of the cases has been solved.
And that figure could be substantially higher: another six reporters have been gunned down under uncertain circumstances since Aquino was elected on a reformist ticket. CPJ continues to investigate whether any of the journalists' deaths were work-related.