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Asia Minute: Another journalist murdered in the Philippines

Philippines Journalist Killed
Aaron Favila/AP
An employee of the country's largest TV network ABS-CBN, holds a slogan during a rally outside the House of Representatives in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, July 9, 2020. A gunman shot and killed a journalist Wednesday night Dec. 8, 2021, who was watching TV at a store in a central Philippine city, in a brazen attack in what has long been regarded as one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

Another reporter has been shot and killed in the Philippines. It happened on Wednesday in the southern part of a country that has become one of the most dangerous in the world to be a journalist.

Chances are, you’ve never heard of Jesus "Jess" Malabanan.

He was a reporter for the Manila Standard — and for many years was a stringer for the British news agency Reuters.

He helped cover stories on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines — which won Reuters a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.

The company even moved him away from his base of Pampanga — northwest of Manila — to another province in the central part of the country after his life was threatened.

Police say Malabanan was watching television in his family’s small store when he was shot and killed.

As with many other cases of murdered journalists in the Philippines, police have been unable to link the death directly with his reporting work.

In late October, another reporter whose coverage areas included crime was killed in the southern Philippines.

Orlando Dinoy was shot and killed after a gunman broke into his apartment.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, 22 journalists have been murdered in the country since Duterte became president in 2016.

Most of those crimes have been in provinces far from Manila.

Last year the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the Philippines was among the deadliest countries in the world for journalists — trailing only Mexico, Syria and Afghanistan.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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