MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A radio broadcaster was shot dead this morning, bringing the number to 4 cases in 2011 for a country listed as one of the most dangerous places for journalists.
Romeo Olea, 49, was on his way to work at the radio dzEB in Nabua, Camarines Sur when unidentified men shot him in the back.
He was riding his motorcycle when a number of men shot him near the Holy Child Learning Center in San Jose, Iriga City.
Police Chief Superintendent Virgilio Calleja said the broadcaster was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.
Police have yet to determine the cause of the death. They were able to recover bullets from a 9mm gun.
Meantime, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Palace deplores the "senseless killing" of Olea.
"Mr. Olea was a crusading journalist who exposed irregularities, for which he had been receiving threats to his life," he said.
"We are seeking prompt action by local police authorities for the immediate apprehension of the perpetrators of this crime."
The United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists earlier listed the country as the 3rd most dangerous place for journalists, next to Iraq and Somalia.
Its rank was unmoved from the 2010 report. The CPJ recorded 69 journalists murdered since 1992. – report from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM