Broadcaster killed in ambush in Surigao del Sur
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – A 29-year-old broadcaster died in Bislig City in Surigao del Sur on Tuesday night, October 24, after unidentified men opened fire at his vehicle.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) alerted the media of the death of Christopher Iban Lozada on Wednesday morning, October 25.
The NUJP said that Lozada was driving home with his girlfriend, Faith Tuyco Indog, when the incident happened. Indog was injured.
“Lozada was killed immediately while Indog was rushed to the Andres Soriano Hospital for treatment,” the NUJP said.
The ambush came after Lozada received multiple death threats, some of which could be found on his own Facebook acount, said NUJP.
“I’m not an activist; I don’t look for controversy. I’m not a political person, but I’m a person with compassion,” Lozada said in a live Facebook video on October 15.
Lozada was the operations manager and anchor of DXBF Prime Broadcasting Network, where he was known as “Chris Rapido.”
He was also called “Dok Chris” as he had health-related radio programs.
According to the NUJP, Lozado was reportedly involved in filing charges against Bislig Mayor Librado Navarro and other Bislig officials before the Office of the Ombudsman over their involvement in a questionable hydraulic excavator deal. Navarro and the officials were found guilty of grave misconduct.
In another Facebook post, Lozada posted a text message theatening him. "Another grave threat. I received this while I was hosting a program on air. I'm slightly worried by this incident because I was told that my days are numbered and that I would die soon. I'm just doing all these for the people. Now they're telling me this; I think they're getting used to this kind of act," he said.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) condemned the death of Lozada.
Lozada earlier filed a complaint against Navarro with the PTFoMS, citing the death threats he had been receiving.
PTFoMS issued a “red-flag” letter to Navarro on October 24 but it was too late, as he was killed that morning.
“Lozada was killed even before the letter-warning could reach the mayor,” PTFoMs said in a statement, adding that it suspected the mayor to be behind the threats to Lozada's life because of the graft case before the Ombudsman.
In his complaint, Lozada cited threatening text messages that he reportedly received form Navarro. “Leave Bislig if you do not want to die,” the alleged text message read.
Police Superintendent Eder Collantes of Task Force Usig has been instructed to “immediately” investigate the killing. – Rappler.com