BY The Guardian

Virgilio Maganes killed in Philippines in second attempt on his life

Filipino journalist Virgilio Maganes, who survived a previous attempt on his life by pretending to be dead has been killed outside his home, police have said.

Maganes, 62, who was a commentator for DWPR radio station in the northern province of Pangasinan, died instantly after he was shot six times by motorcycle-riding gunmen, Major Christian Alucod told AFP.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the murder, which it said was the 18th such killing since Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016.

“His death is an indictment on this government’s empty boast that press freedom is alive and well in the country,” the union said.

Police said the motive for the killing was not clear.

The NUJP said Maganes had survived a 2016 shooting by “playing dead” after being hit. A note left at the scene during the first attempt on his life said: “I’m a drug pusher, don’t emulate me.”

Such messages were common in extrajudicial killings during the height of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs that has resulted in thousands of deaths.

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists and most of their killers go free. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said last month the Philippines was seventh in its global impunity index.