Gunmen shoot radio reporter in Philippines north
Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot and wounded a radio commentator in the Philippines' northern tobacco region, the first case of violence against journalists this year in the country, police and a local press union said on Friday.
Eugene Paet was on his way home after work at a radio station owned by a powerful political clan in Ilocos Sur province when the gunmen fired at him on Thursday night, said Eduardo Dupale, provincial police chief, Reuters reported.
"He was hit in the body but was able to run away from his would-be assassins," Dupale told reporters, adding the radio talk show host is now in stable condition at a hospital in Vigan.
"We're now trying to establish the motive for the attack. It's too premature to conclude it was work-related because there could be other reasons for the attempt to kill him."
The Philippines was listed as the most dangerous country for journalists in 2009 with the death of 30 local press members in a politically-motivated massacre in a southern province in November, the Brussels-based International News Safety Institute (INSI) said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said a total of 99 journalists had been killed in the country since 2001, with 37 deaths in 2009 alone.
Investigative stories about drug trafficking, gambling, corruption and other illegal activities involving officials in the Philippines often put reporters at risk.
Corruption in the media, with underpaid journalists sometimes taking bribes to report stories, also places reporters in danger from disgruntled paymasters or their rivals.
Under fire from local and international human rights groups for its failure to protect hundreds of journalists and left-wing activists killed over the past eight years, the government has vowed to track down killers of reporters but there have been few convictions.