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Radio reporter murdered on Halloween

MANILA (UCAN) : A gunman shot and killed a radio broadcaster, José Bernardo, a staff reporter for the DWIZ in Manila, during the dark hours of Halloween celebrations on October 31. Bernardo becomes the latest victim in a spate of murders of media personnel in The Philippines.

Authorities identified the victim, who died after being shot several times as he was parking his motor cycle outside a fast food restaurant in Quezon City around 9.30pm.

The Inquirer reported that eye witnesses said that two men on a motor cycle approached Bernardo and shot him multiple times in the head and body from close range.

An employee at the restaurant was also injured during the attack.

Forty-four-year-old Bernardo had told his family he was going to meet someone when he left his home earlier in the evening. Police later revealed that he had received threatening text messages on his cell phone, but did not give any details.

Police have yet to establish a motive for the attack on Bernardo, who is now one of at least 30 journalists who have been murdered in the country since the current president, Noynoy Aquino, moved into Malacañang in 2010.

“This is another instance of those who are speaking the truth and exposing abuses being silenced,” Father Amado Picardal, the executive secretary of the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities, said.

The priest said the murder represents another failure of the government to protect reporters and that it deserves condemnation.

“This has been going on for too long and yet the authorities have not been able to stop the killings and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Father Picardal said.

The National Union of Journalists of The Philippines said the brazen manner in which Bernardo was killed “underscores the impunity with which media killings and other extrajudicial murders continue to be committed.”

Bernardo’s murder came two days before the observance of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2.