CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Still unidentified gunmen killed a cartoonist and public school arts teacher in Barangay Pasandalan, Lebak town in Sultan Kudarat, on Saturday night, November 5.
Police identified the victim as Benharl Capote Kahil, an award-winning cartoonist, teacher, and special program in the arts coordinator of the Lebak Legislated National High School.
Those who knew Kahil said the victim was known for his social commentary and advocacy against disinformation through his visual arts.
Lebak town police chief Lieutenant Colonel Julius Malcontento said Kahil was on his motorcycle, and was on his way home when he was ambushed on a barangay road past 10 pm.
The gunmen shot him several times, and finished him off with a gunshot to the head.
“We cannot give more details yet. We’re thoroughly investigating the case,” Malcontento told Rappler on Sunday afternoon.
Aside from being a public school teacher, Kahil gained recognition for his editorial cartoon work.
His work bested the 3rd Pitik Bulag’s Tagisan Editorial Cartoon Contest (senior category) this year.
His entry on women’s rights also won the top prize in the iChange Komiks, and he ranked second for his entry on children’s rights, also in 2022.
In 2020, he was the top winner in the 1st Pitik Bulag Online Exhibition and Contest (open category), and won the third prize during the group’s 1st Pitik Bulag Tagisan Editorial Cartoon Contest in 2021.
His winning editorial cartoon in 2020 showed a blindfolded and long-haired Lady Justice in a white dress with a weighing scale dangling on her mouth. She is unable to rise and find her balance as a fully-armed and charging knight, with an acne-scarred nose, rides on her like a horse.
Pitik Bulag is a group which is part of the #FactsFirstPH initiative against disinformation through visual arts, particularly comics and cartoons. – Rappler.com