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In interviews with journalists around the country, many also pointed to problems within the media community itself.
They complained about an absence of professional standards and ethics among some broadcast journalists, particularly "block-timers" who lease airtime from station owners.
To date, there has not been a single court conviction in any of the killings.
The violence against broadcasters highlights the larger crisis of crime and corruption in this nation of 7,000 islands and 82 million people.
The show made a lot of noise and was a big hit, his former colleagues say. Last year, Hinolan accused Arcenio of ethical violations involving cockfighting and gambling.
Lilia dela Cruz, who now runs the station, said that Hinolan was so popular because he dared to take on powerful people such as the mayor of nearby Lezo, Fred Arcenio. Dela Cruz said that the mayor, prodded by such commentary, would call Hinolan during his morning show, and the two would argue on the air. Colleagues told CPJ that Hinolan knew he was taking risks by speaking out against gambling—in particular, the popular numbers racket called and corruption.
In one notorious case, two witnesses were assassinated before an ex-cop went to trial for gunning down a broadcaster.
In a dark, cramped studio in this small provincial town about 200 miles south of Manila, Herson "Bombo Boy" Hinolan used to start his top-rated show on DYIN Bombo Radyo with a bang. Hinolan blasted corrupt officials and illegal gambling, naming names and punctuating his fiery commentary with deafening bangs on a bass drum propped in the corner.
His "shock jock" style drove up the station's ratings even as it put his life at risk.
One night last November, a gunman shot Hinolan repeatedly in the back, making him one of eight Philippine journalists murdered for their work in 2004.
Broadcasting from remote areas where the power of radio is strong and the rule of law weak, boisterous commentators such as Hinolan are being gunned down in record numbers, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found.