(TELESUR) – Eduardo Dizon, a radio host from Philippines southern island of Mindanao, was shot dead Wednesday, making him the latest victim in crimes against journalists in the Asian country.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Thursday if Dizon’s murder is connected with his work, then he would be the 13th journalist to be murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016.
Dizon, who shot was by two gunmen riding a motorcycle while he was driving home after work, was receiving death threats days before the shooting. He informed police about the threats according to local news reports.
The day of the shooting, he was driving back from office after finishing his evening news program when he was shot by the unknown gunmen. He was trying to evade the attackers but was hit five times and died at the spot.
He was the former manager of the radio station before he ran for a local legislative position during the May elections which he lost.
Brigada Group, the owner of the radio station, condemned the murder saying it is “an attempt to silence Brigada media and its news personalities from their exposes and position on prevailing issues.”
The NUJP said Sunday that its members were being harassed by unidentified people. The harassers were accusing the organization of being linked to communists, locally known as “red-tagging.”
The Philippines is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. According to the NUJP, 186 people who worked with media companies have been killed since 1986.
Duterte has denounced journalists in the past for their revelation of the deadly drug wars in the country which has been called “murderous war on drugs” by Amnesty International.
He spoke against journalists for their reportage and vilified foreign journalists while saying that the assassination of corrupt journalists is legitimate.
A hitman from the town of Davos confessed to a Senate committee hearing in 2016 that the then town’s mayor Duterte, in the early 1990s, had given orders to kill a radio journalist critical of his administration.