The number of journalists killed since Duterte came into power 2016 is constantly growing. Within the last two weeks there have been two assassinations, raising the total number to 19. On November 10th Virgilio Maganes from Pangasinan was shot several times by unidentified gunmen. It was not the first attempt on his life. He had been shot before in 2016 but he survived. This time however, he was not so fortunate.
Ronnie Villamor from Masbate was killed four days later on November 14th in an encounter with the army. According to the police, Villamor had a gun and aimed it at the soldiers who came after him, causing them to shoot.
There is some irony to the fact that these two incidents happened right after the International day to end Impunity for crimes against journalists on November 2nd.
Journalists are threatened and attacked all over the world. Considering their key role in a functional democracy, attacks on journalists are more than just attacks on individuals. They threaten the right of all citizens to receive information about what is really going on in their country. A system where journalists are not safe is a system lacking one of the vital pillars of democracy. Two killed journalists within two weeks paints, once again, a troubling picture of the disregard of human rights in the Philippines.