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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Philippine reporter gunned down
A prominent Philippine journalist has become the latest in a series of reporters and rights activists to be killed in recent months.

Fernando Batul, 36, was gunned down by two men on a motorbike in Puerto Princesa city, his colleague said.

Batul had recently criticised city officials over the contracts of Filipinos whom he said were mistreated when they were sent to Taiwan.

He had already been the target of a recent attack.

Last month two unexploded hand grenades were found in front of his home.

Next to the grenades was a note warning him to "stop what he is doing, otherwise you will die," his work colleague Lenny Escaro told DZRH radio.

The mayor of Puerto Princesa, Edward Hagedorn, denied any involvement in Batul's death, saying he "had been dreading that this would happen".

Mr Hagedorn also promised a reward to anyone who could give information that would lead to the arrest of Batul's killers.

Batul is thought to be the fifth journalist to be murdered in the Philippines this year. Seven were killed in 2005.

In its annual report for 2006, the group Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) said that "after Iraq, the Philippines is the most dangerous country for journalists".


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