The head of the United Nations agency tasked with protecting press freedom today condemned the murder of two Filipino journalists and called on the country's authorities to investigate the crime and prosecute the perpetrators.
According to media and police reports, on 30 July journalists Richard Kho and Bonifacio Loreto were shot several times by two assailants on motorcycles as they talked in front of a convenience store in the Quezon City neighbourhood of Manila.
“The murders of Richard Kho and Bonifacio Loreto must not go unpunished,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.
“I urge the authorities in the Philippines to do their utmost to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.”
Both Mr. Kho and Mr. Loreto were columnists for the Aksyon Ngayon, a weekly tabloid newspaper.
“The murder of a journalist is a direct attack against the basic right of freedom of expression, and society's right to access information,” Ms. Bokova said. “It requires a swift response to show those who would use fear and violence to silence the media that such acts will not be tolerated.”