Godofredo Linao

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Top Developments
• Maguindanao massacre underscores deep-seated climate of impunity.
• Local and international groups mobilize to offer aid, seek justice.

Key Statistic
29: Journalists slain in a politically motivated ambush, the single deadliest event ever recorded by CPJ.

In the deadliest event for the press ever recorded by CPJ, 29 journalists and two media support workers were ambushed and brutally slain on November 23 as they traveled in Maguindanao province with a convoy of people who intended to file gubernatorial candidacy papers for a local politician. In all, 57 people were killed in a shocking display of barbarism apparently motivated by political clan rivalries. The bodies were dumped in mass graves in a remote clearing in the town of Ampatuan.

New York, July 27, 2009--Police in Mindanao must investigate the motive for today's shooting murder of radio journalist Godofredo Linao and pursue those responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Philippine broadcaster Godofredo Linao Jr., 49, was shot in Barabo township, Surigao del Sur province, about 545 miles (875 kilometers) from the capital, Manila, according to local press freedom groups and news reports.

Linao hosted a weekly public affairs program called “Straight to the Point” on Radyo Natin, and worked as a disc jockey for another radio station, the reports said. He went to Barabo in response to a text message at around 1 a.m., according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, which quoted Radyo Natin station manager Mario Alviso. The journalist was getting on his motorcycle when two unidentified men fired at him four times.

The motive for the murder was not clear. Task Force USIG, a unit of the Philippines National Police dedicated to investigating media and political murders, said it considered his radio broadcasts a possible motive in the attack. Alviso said he received threatening text messages after Linao’s murder, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).

Linao, a “block-timer” who leased airtime from Radyo Natin, was also a spokesman for provincial Vice Gov. Librado Navarro, according to CMFR. Navarro was a sponsor of the radio program. The journalist’s wife told CMFR that he had planned to run as a candidate in the 2010 provincial board elections and had received threats while running for political posts in the past.

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