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Gunman Kills Radio Broadcaster in Central Philippines

Richel V. Umel and Nonoy Espina
Iligan and Bacolod, Philippines
2019-11-07
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Journalists and supporters display signs during a press freedom protest in Manila, Jan. 19, 2018.
Journalists and supporters display signs during a press freedom protest in Manila, Jan. 19, 2018.
AFP

A gunman killed a radio journalist in the central Philippines Thursday, the second attack on the member of the media in eight days, police and press groups said.

Dindo Generoso, a broadcaster with dyE 96.7 radio in Dumaguete city, was killed while driving to the station to host a morning news program, police said.

The motive for the attack was being determined, but Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who co-chairs the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, vowed speedy justice for Generoso and protection for his family.

“This senseless and unwarranted act will not go unpunished,” Andanar said in a statement. “We will take the necessary action to ensure justice for Mr. Generoso’s family.”

The killing came a little more than a week after another radio broadcaster was seriously injured in a similar attack. Benjie Caballero, station manager of Radio ni Juan network, was shot outside his home in the southern town of Tacurong by two gunmen on a motorcycle.

Andanar said his agency would be on top of the situation and “will constantly and actively coordinate and cooperate” with the police and other agencies to solve the latest attack.

“We commit that no stone will be left unturned when it comes to dealing with media killings,” Andanar said.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra announced he will establish a special team to investigate Generoso’s killing, according to Philippine media.

“The National Bureau of Investigation may be tapped to assist as circumstances may warrant,” he said in a message to reporters.

CPJ ranking

Last week, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported the Philippines had the highest number of unsolved murders of journalists in the world.

In addition, CPJ’s 2019 Global Impunity Index ranked the Philippines as the fifth worse country for prosecuting the killers of journalists.

The Philippines’ ranking was due in part to a November 2009 incident when 32 journalists and media workers were among 58 people killed when a political clan massacred members of a rival family contesting the governorship of a southern province. It is considered the largest, single-day killing of media workers anywhere in the world, according to press and rights groups.

About 100 members of a powerful Muslim clan were detained and put on trial for the crime, although a verdict has not been reached in the decade-old crime.

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