Journalist fatally shot in Philippines

May 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM

MATI CITY, Philippines, May 9 (UPI) -- A reporter for a Catholic Church-run radio station in the Philippines was fatally shot, the third journalist killed in the country in 15 days, officials said.

Nestor Libaton, 40, was killed by two gunmen riding on a motorcycle about Tuesday as he and his co-worker were traveling on his motorcycle in Mati City, the capital of Davao Oriental province on the southern island of Mindanao, Gulf News reported.

The gunmen fled after shooting Libaton seven times with pistols, officials said.

Libaton, a father of four children, worked as a field reporter for the Catholic Church-run DxHM-AM (Ang Radyo Totoo, or The Truth Radio) and was not known for discussing controversial issues on the air.

The international group Reporters Without Borders has said the Philippines government has not effectively responded to killings of journalists and threats to their safety.

"The government that took over in July 2010 has not yet responded effectively to the media's problems. Threats and violence against local radio station hosts [including physical attacks and murders] and the culture of impunity represent the biggest obstacles to media freedom," RWB said.

On Thursday the administration of President Benigno Aquino III affirmed its commitment to protecting journalists in the country.

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