The Philippines has the highest number of unresolved journalist murders in the world, according to the Global Impunity Index, an annual report released yesterday by the American non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists.
Currently there are 41 unresolved killings involving journalists in the country.
The Philippines has appeared in the top five of the index since 2008, mainly because of the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre, in which 58 people, most of them journalists, were slaughtered on their way to witness the filing of the certificate of candidacy of Esmael Mangudadatu, who was planning to run for governor in that year’s election. One of the alleged masterminds in the case, Mangudadatu’s political rival Andal Ampatuan Jr., is still being tried, but his father and co-accused Andal Ampatuan Sr. died in detention in 2015 before his case concluded.
According to the index, 81 journalists were killed in the Philippines from 1992 to 2019, with the CPJ saying that the level of impunity in the country this year has “worsened.”
The other countries joining the Philippines in the top five were Mexico, with 30 unresolved killings; Somalia, with 25; Syria, with 22; and Iraq, also with 22.
The most recent case of a Filipino journalist dying allegedly in connection with his work was this month’s killing of Remate columnist Jupiter Gonzales, along with another man. The alleged gunman has already been identified by the authorities and will be charged with double murder.