Iloilo broadcaster wounded in attack

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ILOILO CITY — Two unidentified men on a motorcycle repeatedly shot and wounded a radio blocktimer yesterday morning, police said.

PO2 Velmor Murcillo of the intelligence section of the police station in Iloilo’s Jaro district said Fernando “Kapid” Gabio, 62, was cleaning his car in front of his house around 7 a.m. when the assailants fired at him three times.

“I pulled out my gun but they already fled,” Gabio told the Inquirer in a telephone interview from the Iloilo Mission Hospital where he was being treated for a gunshot wound on the right thigh.

Murcillo said the gunmen escaped on a black Honda motorcycle.

Gabio hosts block-time radio programs especially during election periods.

Blocktime is broadcast time paid for by an independent broadcaster or someone else who employs the broadcaster.

Police recovered three .45-caliber-shells from the crime scene.

On Aug. 22, 2011, Niel “Lito” Jimena, Gabio’s co-host on a radio program in Iloilo City, was shot dead in E.B. Magalona town in Negros Occidental.

Jimena’s case remains unsolved, but the Negros Occidental police said they were eyeing Jimena’s work as a broadcaster and his being an informant of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the intelligence section of the Iloilo City Police Office as among the possible motives for his murder.

Senior Supt. Marietto Valerio, Iloilo City police director, said investigators were still determining the identity of the assailants and the motive behind the attack on Gabio.

He said they would look into the possible links between Jimena’s killing and the attack on Gabio.

Senior Police Inspector Stephen Somosot said Gabio had received death threats from unknown callers.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said 150 journalists have been killed since 1986.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked the Philippines as the second-deadliest country for journalists next to Iraq. /INQUIRER WITH AP

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