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Two years ago today, in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao, 100 armed guards overtook a civilian convoy and executed the passengers in what has become known as the Maguindanao massacre.

Journalist Niel Jimena- host of radio show “Judge”- was shot dead in the Philippines on August 22 while riding his motorcycle, according to the police. There is no clear motive in Jimena’s killing, though it most likely is linked to his criticism of local officials on his radio show. Shortly before his death, he reportedly was threatened by a local politician for remarks remarks on his radio show.

The Cultural Centre of the Philippines has been forced to close an exhibit displaying the artwork of Mideo Cruz after the center faced public criticism, including hate mail, threats, vandalism and legal action. Cruz’ artwork was deemed blasphemous by many of the country's Christians because it featured religious and phallic images together. The exhibit opened in June 2011 and was not scheduled to close until August 21.

The recent slaying of two journalists in the Philippines is another example of the dangerous environment and culture of impunity that has made the country one of the most perilous in the world for media



Senior Research Analyst for East Asia

Sarah Cook is a senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House.


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Freedom House helps LGBTI rights groups in Southeast Asia to push back against the tide of intolerance.