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Philippines' reporter killed in the country's latest attack against press

A radio reporter has been shot dead in the Philippines, the fourth most lethal country for journalists. Eight journalists have been killed in 2015 alone.

Quezon City, the Philippines

Quezon City, the Philippines

Jose Bernardo, 44, was shot by a man on a motorcycle outside of a fast food restaurant in Quezon City on Saturday night.

According to authorities, Bernardo, a radio reporter and tabloid columnist, told his family that night that he was going to meet with an unspecified person.

The killer and the motive are not yet known, but in the Philippines - where violent attacks against journalists are often carried out with impunity - many explanations remain on the table.

"It's possible the attack was work-related or due to a personal quarrel," the chief inspector said after the attack.

The president of the Philippines' National Press Club told AFP news agency: "We denounce this killing regardless of the motive. It shows that there is still a culture of impunity at work."

A pattern of violence

The Philippines was ranked the fourth deadliest country for journalists - behind only Iraq and Syria - by the New York-based watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists.

Legally, the country enjoys a history of press freedom. But since 1992, 77 journalists and two media workers have been killed for motives related to their work. An additional 52 have been murdered with unconfirmed motives.

The attack coincides with the United Nations' observance on November 2 of the

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

. First proclaimed in 2013, the event seeks to bolster commitment to

bring justice to slain journalists

and deter future attacks. Seven-hundred journalists have been killed in the past decade, according to the UN, and only a tenth of their attackers have been convicted.

Journalists lead a march to the Presidential Palace after the 2009 attack

Journalists lead a march to the Philippines' Presidential Palace after the 2009 attack

Thirty-two journalists were killed in a 2009 attack in the Philippines that left 58 people dead in total. The attack was committed by a warlord clan - then allied with the Philippine president - that sought to fend off an electoral challenge by another family.

Convictions have not yet been made for the hundred suspects

on trial

- during which a number of witnesses have been murdered. Verdicts are expected next year.

jtm/kms (AFP, dpa)

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