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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Manila protest at reporter deaths
By Sarah Toms
BBC correspondent in Manila

Journalists stage a die-in during a protest outside the headquarters of the Philippine National Police at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila on Monday Aug. 16, 2004
Protesters staged a 'die-in' outside the national police headquarters
More than 100 Philippine journalists have been protesting in Manila against a spate of journalist murders.

At least 13 reporters have been killed since the start of last year, and the protesters say the government has failed to solve the crimes.

The Philippines has free media, but reporters face danger when they write stories on illegal gambling, drug lords and corrupt officials.

Six journalists have been murdered this year - four since the end of July.

Media groups from across the Philippines gathered at the national police headquarters on Monday to call for justice for their murdered colleagues.

They wore black to mourn the unsolved killings of some 13 journalists since the start of 2003.

Police are investigating whether all of the killings are work-related, but say they will make it easier for journalists who want to carry guns.

President Gloria Arroyo has ordered the police and the justice department to work with the media to solve the murders and prevent further attacks.

The speaker of Congress, Jose de Venecia, a former journalist, has offered nearly $40,000 for information about the killers.

Media groups say at least 56 journalists have been killed since 1986, when democracy was restored with the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Just one of the cases has been solved.


SEE ALSO:
Reforms key to Arroyo's new term
24 Jun 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Gloria Arroyo
06 May 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
21 Dec 03  |  Country profiles


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