DAVAO CITY, Philippines – About a week after the 4th commemoration of the gruesome Ampatuan Massacre, a radio commentator was shot dead in the town of Valencia in Bukidnon on Friday evening, November 29.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Joas Dignos, blocktime commentator at dxGT Radyo Abante based in Maramag, was killed by two motorcycle-riding assailants outside the CAP Building along Sayre Highway at around 9:30 in the evening.
Dignos died on the spot after sustaining gunshot wounds, the NUJP reported.
Last June 2, two unidentified men threw a hand grenade at the station of dxGT while a recorded commentary of Dignos was being aired. A utility man was hurt while the station was damaged in the incident.
NUJP said dxGT Program Director Cocoy Medina reported earlier Dignos had been “taping his program at that time since he started receiving death threats on his cell phone.”
“The motive for the killing has yet to be established. If work-related, Digos would be the 19th work-related case of media killing under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III,” the NUJP said.
Media killings, ‘not serious’?
The Human Rights Watch echoed NUJP’s call, urging the Aquino administration to “revisit its views about media killings in the Philippines and, more importantly, ensure that this recent murder and the ones before it are investigated fully.”
The human rights group also took a swipe at Malacañang for downplaying attacks against media workers.
“It is distressing that the President’s spokesman, Sonny Coloma, thought of these killings as ‘not that serious’ when, in fact, they tear at the fabric of the democracy the President’s mother helped to establish,” Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine said in a statement.
Media groups in the Philippines reported there are at least 24 journalists who were murdered under the Aquino administration. – Rappler.com