A Filipino journalist who reported on the “war on drugs” promoted by the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, which has resulted in thousands of deaths since 2016, has been shot to death this Wednesday in the east of the country.
Jesus Malabanan, a 58-year-old reporter for an English newspaper and a television station in Manila, has received a shot in the head and died on the way to Calbayog City coastal region hospital, 482 kilometers southeast of the capital, as reported by the Police, who are still investigating the motive or cause of the murder.
The journalist was watching television in a small neighborhood store owned by his family when an unidentified man carrying a pistol got off a motorcycle driven by another suspect.
Malabanan, which is the twenty-second journalist assassinated in the Asian country since Duterte became president in 2016 and collaborated with the agency Reuters, would have received threats before his death, as highlighted by police reports.
On Wednesday, Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, joint Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2021, called on her colleagues to stand up for her rights so as not to lose them in front of “Authoritarian leaders” and “emerging dictators”.
“They want us to renounce our rights ourselves,” said Ressa, referring to these types of leaders, shortly after getting off the plane in Oslo, where he will collect on Friday the Nobel that he won together with the Russian journalist. Dimitri muratov.
The co-founder of the news page Rappler, very critical of Duterte, asked the profession to defend their rights, “Now more than ever, otherwise we will lose them”.
“When the facts are threatened, when there are no longer honest facts, there can be no honest choices. It starts with us: we have to keep finding the facts and serving the population“Added the former correspondent for the US network CNN.
In order to travel to Oslo, Ressa, 58, had to seek permission from four different courts, as he is on probation awaiting appeal for a defamation conviction.
In addition to the defamation conviction, punishable by up to six years in prison, Ressa faces other six legal proceedings.
Ressa’s work brought to light the Violence Accompanying President Duterte’s Drug Campaigns, which could have caused tens of thousands of deaths, according to organizations for the defense of Human Rights.
Both she and Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian critical newspaper Novaia Gazeta, were recognized in October with the Nobel Peace Prize for their fight to “protect freedom of expression”.
The Philippines ranks 138th in the world press freedom rankings that every year Reporters Without Borders (RSF) carries out, and Russia 150.
(With information from Europa Press and Reuters)
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They assassinated a Filipino journalist who denounced “the war on drugs” promoted by President Rodrigo Duterte