DAVAO CITY: Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead a radio broadcaster in a daring attack on Friday in Digos City, Davao del Sur.
The victim was identified as Sammy Oliverio, 57, a broadcaster at Radyo Ukay in Digos City.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said the incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m. while the victim was heading home from the market. Local reporters said the assailants did not even bother to cover their faces.
Digos City Police Chief Superintendent Querubin Mana–lang said Oliverio sustained two gunshot wounds on the head and neck, resulting in his immediate death.
Oliverio hosted a news program at Radyo Ukay and Supreme Radio and had previously commented on local politics, illegal gambling activities and the proliferation of drugs in Digos.
It was not immediately known if the killing was connected to his scathing commentaries but the NUJP said Oliverio suffered a stroke in February and had gone on leave since then.
“We are interviewing his wife and colleagues to find the truth. We are still gathering information,” Manalang said.
Malacañang on Friday condemned the killing of Oliverio— the 28th journalist to die during the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said they have already directed the Philippine National Police to track down the suspects.
Reacting to the latest media killing, the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) and the Confederation of Asean Journalists led by President Benny Antiporda expressed “great disappointment and utter disgust” over the slaying of Oliverio.
“The killing of Oliverio dealt another humiliating slap on the face of the Aquino administration, during which the rate of media killings has outpaced the resolution of previous ones. It is statistically dreadful that at this rate—seven journalist deaths a year from June 30, 2010 to the present—the most number of media killings, besides the Maguindanao massacre, would be attributed to this government by the end of Aquino’s term,” the NPC said.
Antiporda said that the deaths of journalists during the Aquino administration may far outnumber those of previous administrations.
The NPC said Oliverio was the third journalist killed in Digos since 2006 when broadcaster Armando Pace was slain. Nestor Bedolido, another local journalist, was killed in 2010.
WITH REPORT FROM JOEL M. SY EGCO