Dumaguete City radio reporter shot dead

Ryan Macasero
Rex Cornelio is the third radio journalist to be killed in Dumaguete City since 2018

JOURNALIST KILLED. Radio broadcaster Rex Cornelio is killed in Dumaguete City. Photo from Cornelio's Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A 48-year-old radio reporter was shot dead in Dumaguete City on Tuesday, May 5.

According to a report from the Dumaguete City Police Department, Rex Cornelio Pepino or “Rex Cornelio” on Energy 93.7 FM, was shot before 9 pm at Villa Amada, North Road, in Barangay Daro, Dumaguete City.

He was onboard his motorcycle with his wife when he was shot by unidentified suspects who were also riding another motorcycle.

He was rushed to the Silliman University Medical Center and was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians.

Police are still investigating the motive of the killing.

Cornelio, whose killing comes only two days after World Press Freedom Day, is the third radio journalist to be murdered in Dumaguete City since 2018. 

Another radio broadcaster Dindo Generoso was shot dead, also by riding-in-tandem gunmen, in November 2019. Edmund Sestoso, meanwhile, was shot dead in April 2018

Three suspects have been charged in the killing of Generoso, while Sestoso’s murder remains unsolved. 

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Cornelio’s killing marks the 16th journalist killing since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, and the 188th since 1986.

According to a report on Inquirer.net, Cornelio was sued by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo for libel, but was acquitted in 2017.

The killing also comes only 5 days after a coronavirus lockdown in Negros Oriental was downgraded to a general community quarantine. Since January, the province has reported only 4 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. – Rappler.com 

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.