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Army men in Davao City vow to protect journalists

Government troops in Davao City on Thursday announced their solidarity with the media by vowing to protect journalists and helping to safeguard press freedom. "We offer our help and services to our media partners in furtherance of a true, democratic, balanced and unbiased reporting," said the Army 10th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu in a statement. The offer of assistance came as media entities in the city commemorated the August 27, 1987 attack by communist rebels on DXRA radio, which was critical of the left’s human rights violations and atrocities. The attack, dubbed as the DXRA Massacre, resulted to the deaths of nine people - four local broadcast media personalities and five civilians. The rebels also attacked DXMF-Bombo Radyo but failed to inflict any casualties there. According to the National Union of Journalists (NUJP), a total of 104 media killings have been recorded since 1986, the year democracy was restored in the country through the historic People Power Revolution. Of this number, 64 were killed under the Arroyo administration. Last March, New York-based media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists ranked the Philippines sixth among the 14 countries where “journalists are slain and killers go free." The International Federation of Journalists has also included the Philippines in its “world league of infamy" in media-related deaths in 2009. - GMANews.TV