The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom has condemned the killing of Philippine journalist Aresio Padrigao, the sixth media professional to be murdered in the South-East Asian nation this year.
Mr. Padrigao, 55, was shot by a motorcyclist as he was dropping his daughter off at university on 17 November in the province of Misamis Oriental. He hosted a weekly radio programme on dxRS Radyo Natin (Our Radio), in which he denounced cases of alleged corruption and illegal logging activities.
“I condemn the murder of Aresio Padrigao,” declared Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “It is essential for democracy and rule of law that journalists be allowed to carry out their investigations and voice their views and conclusions.”
Mr. Padrigao also wrote a column for the community newspaper Mindanao Monitor Today. He had received death threats prior to the shooting, according to the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).
According to CMFR, Mr. Padrigao is the sixth journalist to be killed in the Philippines this year.