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Koronadal City broadcaster gunned down

A reporter for radio station dxMC Bombo Radyo-Koronadal died Monday (April 30) from four gunshot wounds at the back and the neck after motorcycle-riding gunmen attacked him.

Rommel Palma, 31, was driving the radio station’s patrol vehicle when he was attacked at around 5 a.m. in front of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital.

According to Bombo Radyo, Palma occasionally conducts live afternoon weather and area situation reports for the radio station. The radio station is not aware of any threats to Palma prior to the shooting.

Malacanang condemned the latest killing saying the Philippine National Police (PNP) is already investigating the latest attack on a member of the press.

“We have already been informed. The PNP has already started the investigation. Again, we condemn the murder on the Bombo radio employee. And we will let you know of the updates. The PNP is right now looking into the motives of the heinous act,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.

The Philippines ranks third on the Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for 2012. The country has consistently placed among the top three countries for three years.

The Impunity Index ranks all countries based on the level of impunity, measured as a ratio to population, of the killers of journalists and media workers in the previous year.

Iraq occupies the number one place in the 2012 Index. In second place is Somalia, followed by the Philippines at number three. Behind the Philippines in fourth place is Sri Lanka. In fifth place is Colombia, followed by Nepal in sixth, and Afghanistan in seventh.

While President Benigno Aquino III only inherited the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, where 32 journalists were among the 58 people murdered, his administration hasn’t achieved any conviction in the murders.

The case has been bogged down in legal stalling tactics, seemingly aimed at breaking the prosecution’s resolve and resources. Also, there have been other media killings and President Aquino has condemned these, but the assailants behind the crime remain free.

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