Mindoro broadcaster is third media worker killed under Marcos admin | Inquirer News
Veteran broadcaster known for hard-hitting commentary

Mindoro broadcaster is third media worker killed under Marcos admin

Cris Bunduquin (Photo from his Facebook page)

Cresenciano Bunduquin (Photo from his Facebook page)

CITY OF CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines — A veteran radio broadcaster known here for his straight-talking commentary programs was shot dead by two assailants early Wednesday, becoming the third journalist to be killed under the Marcos administration and the 198th since 1986.

Cresenciano “Cris” Bunduquin, who turned 50 on May 5, was opening his “sari-sari” (retail) store when he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle on C5 Road in Barangay Sta. Isabel, in this city, at 4:20 a.m.


Bunduquin, a resident of Barangay Canubing II, also in this city, was a host and commentator on radio station dwXR 101.7 Kalahi FM and on online radio MUX. He had been in the media industry for 15 years, according to colleagues.


Jester Joaquin, dwXR station manager, described him as “hard-hitting” on local issues.

In his radio programs, the broadcaster often discussed hot-button topics such as government officials’ response to the MT Princess Empress oil spill, the performance of the local electric cooperative, illegal gambling, and politics, among others.


“He told me before that he’s receiving threats but he didn’t elaborate,” Joaquin told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“He mentioned to me that he wanted a change in his line of work. That’s why he put up a chicken farm because he wants to go quiet,” he added.

Citing eyewitness accounts, police said the suspects pulled up to the victim’s store and one of them approached Bunduquin before shooting him at close range.

Investigators said the victim sustained two chest wounds and was rushed to the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital, but he died on the way there.

The suspect who was driving the motorcycle, later named by authorities as Narciso Ignacio Guntan, was killed after Bunduquin’s son rammed the pair with his vehicle as they fled the scene, but the unidentified gunman escaped.

A hot pursuit operation is still ongoing, Police Col. Samuel Delorino, the provincial director, said.

In a report on Wednesday, the Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) police said they were conducting an in-depth investigation to determine if the attack was related to Bunduquin’s media work.

Police Brig. Gen. Joel Doria, Mimaropa regional police chief, said a Special Investigation Task Group led by Delorino and composed of “experienced investigators” from the Oriental Mindoro Police Provincial Office, had been formed to investigate the killing.

“We take this incident very seriously, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the [killers] will be brought to justice,” Doria said in a statement.

‘Same risks’

Bunduquin’s death came less than a year after the killing of two other radio journalists—broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, who was gunned down on his way to his Las Piñas studio on Oct. 3, 2022, and radio show host Rey Blanco, who was stabbed dead in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, on Sept. 18, 2022.

“If related to his work, the Bunduquin killing shows that while relations between media and the administration seem to be friendlier, journalists are operating under the same risks as before,” said National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chair Jonathan de Santos.

“Lack of accountability for these attacks sends the message that people can get away with attacking journalists, which makes future attacks more likely,” he added.

Former presidents of the Oriental Mindoro Media Club (OMCC) issued a statement online condemning the broadcaster’s murder.

“The killing of Bunduquin won’t suppress the independence and freedom of the press long practiced, nurtured and cherished by community journalists on the island of Mindoro,” OMCC said.

It added: “Bunduquin’s fall in the hands of evildoers only strengthens the resolve of the provincial press to root out the causes and activities of wickedness in society.”

“For every journalist or media personality who is killed, we are losing one voice who brings the truth behind untold stories and phenomena,” said Mayor Malou Flores-Morillo.

Last year, President Marcos promised that his administration would protect press freedom—words that seemed intended to allay fears that his term would replicate his late namesake father’s harsh legacy of media shutdowns and the torture and killings of critical journalists during the dictatorship.

Mr. Marcos has reactivated the Presidential Task Force for Media Security (PTFOMS), an agency created under the Duterte administration, and recently appointed veteran journalist Paul Gutierrez to head it.

P50,000 reward

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, PTFOMS said it considered Bunduquin’s death to be work-related to “facilitate the investigation.”

Gutierrez said the agency was offering a P50,000 reward—pledged by a civic-minded individual who declined to be named—for any information leading to the other suspect’s immediate arrest.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Global Impunity Index 2022, the Philippines is the seventh most dangerous country in the world for journalists, trailing conflict-ridden countries like Somalia, Syria, and Iraq.


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