Another journalist shot dead in the Philippines; 16th in Aquino administration

CMFR/Philippines – Another journalist was shot dead in General Santos City in the province of South Cotabato yesterday, 1 August 2013.

An unidentified gunman entered the home of photojournalist Mario Sy at around 8:30 p.m. and shot him twice, according to the police.

If his killing was work-related, Sy will be the 16th media practitioner killed in the line of duty since the Benigno Aquino III administration came to power in 2010 and the 134th since 1986.

South Cotabato province in the island of Mindanao is some 1,600 kilometers south of Metro Manila.

Sy contributed photos to tabloid newspaper Sapol News Bulletin (On Target News Bulletin).

TV5 stringer Sannie Sombrio told CMFR in a phone interview on 2 August 2013 that Sy’s teenage daughter witnessed the shooting and that the suspect escaped on foot. Sombrio said he talked to Sy’s family just moments after the incident.

Sy’s family, according to Sombrio, thought that the photojournalist’s being vocal against the illegal drug trade in the community could be the motive behind the killing.

Sapol’s publisher John Paul Jubelag also said the issue of illegal drugs in Sy’s area could be the motive. He told CMFR on 2 August 2013 that Sy had contributed a photo report of a drug-related killing sometime in January or February this year.

The police are still investigating Sy’s murder.

Sy is the second Sapol contributor and the fourth tabloid newspaper worker to be killed in General Santos City since 2010.