Duterte wants thorough probe of Dumaguete broadcaster’s slay
President Duterte has ordered a “thorough investigation” of the murder of a radio broadcaster in Dumaguete City on Thursday.
The attack on Dindo Generoso, 67, could be work-related because he had reportedly tackled “a particular issue which drew the ire of some persons in the city,” said Police Lt. Col. Wilfredo Alarcon, acting Dumaguete police chief.
Alarcon told the Inquirer that Generoso’s family reported that he had received death threats on the phone.
“Accordingly, he was told by an unidentified caller to stop tackling a particular issue,” he said, without specifying what the issue was.
Generoso, a blocktimer at dyEM 96.7 Bai Radio, was driving to work around 7:30 a.m. when two men on a motorcycle drove up to his side and one of them opened fire, hitting him several times.
The President condemned the attack and directed authorities to “conduct a thorough investigation and to prosecute those behind the killing,” said his spokesperson, Salvador Panelo.
Alarcon said the Dumaguete police would “try our best to solve this case.”
Generoso was the second journalist killed by unknown assailants in Dumaguete since last year.
Edmund Sestoso, 50, former chair of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) in the city, died from bullet wounds on May 1, 2018, a day after he was attacked following his morning public affairs program on dyGB-FM radio.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also denounced Generoso’s killing and urged the local government and the police “to ensure the immediate capture and prosecution of the perpetrators with the full force of the law.”
“The increasing number of attacks against members of the press around the country signifies the shrinking democratic space for free speech and expression,” said CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia.
Call for justice
In a statement, the NUJP said Generoso’s murder, like other extrajudicial killings, highlighted the “culture of impunity” that would continue to “embolden those who choose violence to impose their will and suppress people’s basic rights.”
“We call on the community of independent journalists to band together and demand justice for the continued attacks on our colleagues and on freedom of the press and expression,” it said.
Joel Sy Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, said the “dastardly deed will not go unpunished.”
“Whoever is behind this senseless murder will be brought to justice,” Egco said in a statement.
Generoso, who lost the mayoral election in Dumaguete in 2016, hosted a local radio program sponsored by the city government, he said.
Egco noted that blocktimers were “particularly vulnerable (to attacks) because of their involvement with politicians,” and 22 of them have been killed since 2003.
He called on media groups and broadcast networks “to take a deeper look into the practice of blocktiming vis-à-vis its inherent dangers.”
According to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, a blocktimer buys “blocks” of airtime from a network or radio station to produce an independent program and then sells the program’s commercial time to sponsors or advertisers.
The Philippines is the fifth deadliest country for journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). With 41 deaths in the past 10 years, the country also has the largest number of unsolved killings of journalists, the CPJ said. —WITH A REPORT FROM PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU
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