Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of DWJJ Radio host Julius Cauzo, who was gunned down by an unidentified man on a motorcycle yesterday in Cabanatuan City, in Nueva Ecija province.
“The lack of security for journalists in the Philippines is alarming and impunity is virtually systematic,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“Cauzo’s murder must be investigated and the criminals responsible must arrested. The motive has yet to be established and, in view of the threats he had received, the police should seriously consider the possibility that it was linked to his work.”
With just two weeks to go until International Day to End Impunity on 23 November, Reporters Without Borders calls on justice minister Leila De Lima to carry out her promise, made last September, to set up a special interagency investigative unit to prevent crimes of violence against journalists and to end impunity for those that are carried out.
The unit is supposed to give journalists active protection from the moment they first receive threats.
Aged 51, Cauzo was shot as he was returning to the radio station to host his morning programme. He was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
He had received several death threats in connection his comments about local politicians and his criticism of corruption.
The Philippines ranks 140th out of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.