DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan: A veteran radio commentator was shot and wounded by a lone gunman while on his way home in Barangay Pantal here on Tuesday.
Orlando “Orly” Navarro, 55, also the officer-in-charge and station manager of dwIZ 89.3 News Radio, sustained a gunshot wound in the back and was set to undergo surgery at the Pangasinan Medical Center.
Three persons were brought to the Dagupan City Police Station (DCPS) for questioning in connection with the shooting.
DCPS chief Supt. Christopher Abrahano said the victim had just arrived at a junction going to his residence after attending a social gathering with his friends when attacked around 1 a.m.
Navarro was talking with a friend after alighting from a motorized tricycle when shot in the back.
“The victim is in stable condition. He himself had told us what happened. The operation will be scheduled as soon as possible,” Abrahano said.
He added that DCPS is looking at all angles in determining the motive in order to pinpoint the perpetrator.
Investigators said it is possible that the shooting could be work-related as Navarro is a hard-hitting radio commentator.
“Based on the witnesses’ statements, there were no escape vehicles used, so the suspect might just be in the neighborhood,” Abrahano said.
The police official added that the shooting of the radio commentator is an isolated case.
Senior Supt. Reynaldo Biay, director of the Pangasinan police provincial office, vowed early solution of the case.
“This will not be a cold case,” Biay said.
The Pangasinan chapters of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the shooting.
“If this is because of Navarro’s profession as radio broadcaster, we condemn it and ask the Philippine National Police to immediately solve it,” said KBP-Pangasinan president Jay Mendoza.
He added that Navarro is the first victim of shooting in Pangasinan this year.
Navarro is a former president of the Pangasinan Press and Radio Club.
In a statement, NUJP head Yolanda Sotelo called on authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the crime until the perpetrator is brought to justice.
The NUJP is also asking law enforcers to ensure the safety of media practitioners who are only doing their job of exposing threats and dangers to the society, and of the entire population whose only aspiration is to live in a peaceful environment.
The NUJP statement said Navarro is “a hard-hitting commentator who had been at the heels of illegal drug pushers, exposing and hitting the proliferation of illegal substance in his village in particular and the city in general. He is also critical of the city government and the police for their inability to stop the menace.”