Ex-Radio Broadcaster Fatally Shot in Southern Philippines

Richel V. Umel and Jeoffrey Maitem
2022.01.12
Iligan and Cotabato, Philippines
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Ex-Radio Broadcaster Fatally Shot in Southern Philippines A member of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines protests outside the Malacañang presidential palace in Metro Manila, Jan. 17, 2018.
Reuters

Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a former broadcast journalist running for a local post in upcoming elections in the southern Philippines, police and his colleagues said Wednesday, in the first killing of a Filipino media figure in 2022.

Jaynard Angeles, 36, who had worked as a political commentator and station manager for Radyo ni Juan, was gunned down in front of a car-repair shop in Tacurong city. The suspects sped away after the attack, said Allan Freno, a spokesman for the city government. 

“He died on the spot,” Freno told reporters.

Local police confirmed the incident, but declined additional comment pending a formal investigation. 

Angeles had recently resigned from the station to run for councilor in the nearby town of Lambayong, according to Freno, who said he was known to anger officials over on-air comments. 

“He used to criticize politicians on his program,” Freno told reporters. 

If the killing is proven to be linked to his work as a journalist, he would be the 23rd killed in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said. 

Joseph Jubelag, president of a local media organization, Socsargen Press Club, said Angeles’ death must be investigated.

“We condemn the killing. We demand justice,” Jubelag told BenarNews. 

Angeles’ predecessor at the radio station, Benjie Caballero, was shot in Tacurong in October 2019 and died in a hospital two months later.

More recently, Jesus Malabanan, a journalist who helped the Reuters news agency cover the government’s war on drugs was shot and killed last month in the central Philippines.

In October 2021, journalist Orlando Dinoy was killed after he was shot six times by a suspect who entered his home in the southern Philippines. 

Since 1992, as many as 88 members of the Philippine media have been killed because of their work, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Dangerous profession

The media profession in the Philippines is considered one of the most dangerous in the world, watchdog groups have said.

In 2009, 32 journalists were among 58 people killed in the biggest single-day attack on the working press in the Philippines. 

The journalists were massacred by armed followers of the Ampatuan clan as they accompanied relatives and supporters of a rival who was filing his candidacy for governor of Maguindanao in the south.

A decade later, dozens of Ampatuan clan-members were convicted of murder, but more than 50 others – including dozens of police officers and body guards in the employ of the Ampatuans – were acquitted.

President Duterte has often vowed to protect journalists and offered praise for their roles in advancing democracy. Despite that praise, he has frequently attacked those in the media who have questioned his administration’s drug war, which has left thousands dead.

His allies in Congress had voted to shut down television network ABS-CBN Corp.

Separately, Maria Ressa, the leader of online news site Rappler, was convicted of cyber libel, but remains free pending an appeal. Last year, she won the Nobel Peace Prize, but still faces several court cases.

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