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Journalist assassinated on second try in Philippines: 18th press victim in four years.

guns photo by Tumisu via

This was the beginning of an article in the Guardian on November 10:

A Filipino journalist who survived a previous attempt on his life by pretending to be dead has been killed outside his home, police have said. Virgilio Maganes, 62, who was a commentator for DWPR radio station in the northern province of Pangasinan, died instantly after he was shot six times by motorcycle-riding gunmen, Major Christian Alucod told AFP. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the murder, which it said was the 18th such killing since Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016. “His death is an indictment on this government’s empty boast that press freedom is alive and well in the country,” the union said.

The assassination of journalists is a favorite ploy practiced by the Russian government, as has been well documented over the years. Reports of the Philippine government doing the same have not been publicized in the US. Perhaps our press doesn’t care what happens over there.

They should care, because our own government has been declaring that the press is “the enemy of the people” for four years. Killings haven’t happened over here, at least not so you’d notice– just harassment and intimidation.

Wikipedia has a list of journalists killed in the US– the only ones killed in the last four years were on June 28, 2018: five victims of a man in Maryland who held a grudge against them for publishing an account of his guilty plea in a 2011 criminal harassment case.

Nothing is in Wikipedia about journalists arrested, wounded by rubber bullets, or tear-gassed at demonstrations (or nearby) although this has happened repeatedly, especially in the last six months.

Now that a new administration is in the wings, perhaps things will improve. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, however. Publicity is vital to the protection of journalists from intimidation and violence.

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