Attacks on the Press
Violence and threats against journalists, particularly in provincial areas, remained widespread as President Benigno Aquino's vow to end impunity in media murders went unfulfilled during his third year in office. At least three journalists were killed in 2013, one of whom was radio reporter Fernando "Nanding" Solijon. A police officer was later identified as a suspect and placed under house arrest. At least six other reporters were killed in 2013. CPJ is investigating their killings to determine whether they were related to the journalists' work. Authorities took a small step toward combating impunity by convicting the gunman in the 2011 murder of journalist Gerardo Ortega, but the process was undermined by the release of the case's two suspected masterminds, including the ex-governor of Palawan province. The Maguindanao massacre trial for the 2009 killings of 32 journalists and media workers failed to convict any of 197 suspects after nearly four years of legal proceedings. Reforms to the criminal justice system, including new mechanisms to expedite priority cases, failed to break the trial's procedural deadlock. At least four journalists were killed and six went missing in the huge typhoon that hit the Philippines in November.