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Philippine gov't pledges better protection for journalists

(Xinhua)

10:12, February 23, 2012

MANILA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda reiterated on Wednesday the government's assurance to protect local and foreign members of the media.

This assurance followed the 2001 report of New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), citing the Philippines as the second deadliest country for journalists, next to Iraq.

"What we've always said that we frown on extralegal killings," Lacierda said in a news briefing.

"We do not sleep on our protection on foreign journalists especially after the Maguindanao massacre. This is something that we are fully conscious of," he said, referring on the gruesome killings of 57 people, mostly journalists in the country's southern province of Maguindanao in November 2009.

Lacierda also explained that once there was a reported killing of a journalist, the administration immediately conduct investigations and try to determine the motive.

Once the perpetrators were identified, necessary charges will be immediately filed, he said.

The CPJ said that at least 72 journalists have been killed in the Philippines for their work since 1992.

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