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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 12:08 GMT
Filipino newspaper editor killed
Neighbours carry the body of killed Filipino newspaper editor Hernani Pastolero
Mr Pastolero was shot by armed men on a motorbike
Police in the Philippines have appealed for witnesses to the murder of a newspaper editor, shot dead on Monday.

Hernani Pastolero, 64, the editor of the weekly Lightning Courier, is the 49th journalist to be killed since 2001, according to official figures.

He was shot twice in the head as he walked to a coffee ship near the city of Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao.

Press watchdogs say the Philippines is second only to Iraq in terms of how dangerous it is for journalists.

Nearly 1,000 left-wing activists, community workers, lawyers and journalists have gone missing or been murdered since President Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001.


"It is time the government put an end to the impunity enjoyed by those responsible by trying to identify them and bring them to justice," the Paris-based Reporters Without Justice said in a statement.

Filipino newspaper editor Hernani Pastolero (file)
Mr Pastolero is the 49th journalist to be killed since 2001

A senior Mindanao police officer said he believed the witnesses were afraid to speak out.

"We know there are people who saw the gunmen. We have to convince them," Joel Goltiao said.

Mr Pastolero was shot by armed men who sped away on a motorbike after the killing.

He is the first journalist to be killed in the country this year. Five died last year and seven in 2005. None of the cases have yet been solved.

Filipino fear over activist killings
17 Sep 06 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Manila pledges probe into deaths
17 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippine reporter gunned down
22 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Manila protest at reporter deaths
16 Aug 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
02 Aug 06 |  Country profiles

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