Media groups condemn radioman’s slay
Media groups have expressed outrage over the killing of Orlando “Dondon” Dinoy, a reporter and volunteer anchor who was shot six times at close range by gunmen who barged inside his apartment in Bansalan town, Davao del Sur, on Saturday.
Dinoy was a reporter for Davao City-based online media outlet Newsline Philippines and a volunteer anchor for Energy FM in Digos City. He was a correspondent for the Inquirer from 2011 to 2020, and for SunStar Davao.
On Sunday, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar directed the Davao region police director, Brig Gen. Filmore Escobal, to lead the investigation into the killing.
“We will look into all the possible angles on this case and we are also asking the help of our ‘kababayan’ (countrymen) to provide us with any information that could lead to the resolution of this case,” Eleazar said.
According to the victim’s colleague, Ronnie Jhun Otero of radio station Eagle 25, Dinoy was preparing dinner around 6 p.m. when unidentified gunmen entered his apartment on Mother Ignacia Street and shot him.
Otero, who rushed to the scene upon hearing of the shooting, said the apartment also served as the victim’s makeshift broadcast studio.
Police Maj. Glenn Ipong, Bansalan town police chief, said that Dinoy succumbed to six gunshot wounds in different parts of the body.
Witnesses come forward
A witness recounted seeing a man come out of Dinoy’s room but the door prevented him from getting a better look at the suspect. Another witness told the police she heard gunshots and saw a man of medium build in a pair of shorts, shirt and black cap near the victim’s room as another man on a motorcycle waited outside.
Scene of the Crime Operatives found six empty bullet cartridges, a fired bullet and a deformed slug at the site, the police said.
Authorities brought Dinoy’s body to Centeno Medical Specialist Hospital where Dr. Earl Felix Vicente confirmed him dead. The body was then taken to a funeral home in Barangay Poblacion Uno, Bansalan town.
“We, the members and officers of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Davao City Chapter, condemn the barbaric killing of our colleague Orlando “Dondon” Dinoy inside his residence,” Roy Geonzon, chair of KBP Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental chapters, said in a statement.
“This is an attack and an affront to the lives of journalists and the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Philippine Constitution,” he said. “We demand speedy and fast police investigation to identify the person or persons behind the killing and put the perpetrators behind bars immediately.”
“We appeal to the authorities to conduct a speedy investigation of the case so that the motive and those behind the attack will be brought to justice,” said Benida Ramos, proprietor of Energy FM 91.1, where Dinoy also worked as an anchor.
Edith Caduaya of Newsline Philippines condemned the killing and vowed never to stop until justice was served.
“We appeal to the authorities for a fair and speedy investigation,” said another statement from the Notre Dame Broadcasting Corp. (dxND) in Cotabato province, where Dinoy served as a stringer for a decade. “Our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. We encourage everyone to join us as we pray for the eternal repose of his soul.”
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and its official publication, The National Guilder, also issued a statement condemning the killing and demanded “strengthened, consistent, and working security mechanisms for media practitioners in the country.”
Protection for media
According to CEGP, the government should secure and ensure a peaceful environment for journalists and media workers since cases like Dinoy’s “result in fear among young journalists and hinder them from continuing their usual lives….”
The PNP chief, meanwhile, assured media members of police protection as he urged them to immediately report if they were under threat or suffering harassment.
Eleazar said the PNP would closely coordinate with the Presidential Task Force on Media Security on the killing of Dinoy and other cases regarding the murder or harassment of media practitioners.
He pointed out that violence of any kind directed at the media was unacceptable in a democratic country and an affront to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press.
Dinoy was the 21st journalist to be killed under the Duterte administration based on Inquirer news reports and data from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).
The other media practitioners murdered from July 2016 up to October this year were Apolinario Suan Jr., Larry Que, Mario Cantaoi, Marlon Muyco, Joaquin Briones, Rudy Alicaway, Leodoro Diaz, Christopher Lozada, Edmund Sestoso, Carlos Matas, Dennis Denora, Joey Llana, Gabby Alboro, Eduardo Dizon, Dindo Generoso, Cornelio Pepino, Jobert Bercasio, Virgilio Maganes, Ronnie Villamor and Renante Cortes.
A radio block timer, Cortes was shot dead on July 22 this year outside radio station dyRB in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.
Radio commentator and local paper writer Maganes and freelance journalist Villamor were killed within days of each other in November 2020. Maganes was shot on Nov. 10 by motorcycle-riding men in Pangasinan while four days later, Villamor was gunned down by soldiers in Masbate during an “encounter.”
As of April 30, the CMFR has recorded at least 223 attacks and threats directed at journalists nationwide in the past four years. Of these, 19 were killings while others involved various forms of harassment, including intimidation, libel threat, physical assault, arrest or being barred from coverage.
—WITH REPORTS FROM JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE AND INQUIRER RESEARCH
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