Latest journo slay in PH worries int’l community
The killing of radio broadcaster Cresenciano Bunduquin in Oriental Mindoro province on Wednesday, May 31, has sparked another call from the international community to stop “attacks on media” in the Philippines and to immediately investigate the murder.
Led by the Embassies of Canada and the Netherlands in Manila, six other diplomatic missions expressed their “grave concern” about the slaying of Bunduquin as they highlighted the significant role of the media in a democracy.
“We welcome swift action of law enforcement agencies to investigate Bunduquin’s death and urge Philippine authorities to take concrete steps to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice,” read the statement of Canada and the Netherlands, who are cochairs of the global network, Media Freedom Coalition.
The Embassies of the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, and the European Union echoed their call.
“Media freedom is an integral element of democracy. To safeguard it, it is essential that journalists can execute their work without fearing for their lives and safety. Attacks on media workers must be urgently investigated, and those responsible must be held accountable,” the embassies said.
‘Person of interest’
In Calapan City, Police Col. Samuel Delorino, Oriental Mindoro provincial police director and head of the Special Investigation Task Group “Bunduquin,” said investigators had identified a “person of interest” but declined to provide details as manhunt operations continue.
Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan, Philippine National Police public information office chief, said: “While [Bunduquin’s] work as a media representative involves discussion of critical issues, we cannot fully conclude as of this time that the motive is work-related, but we are exploring all possible angles as of this time.”
Bunduquin, 50, was shot twice in the chest by one of two gunmen on a motorcycle around 4 a.m. on Wednesday while he was opening his store in Barangay Sta. Isabel in Calapan City. He died while being taken to a hospital.
One of the suspects, Narciso Ignacio Guntan, died after he sustained head injuries when Bunduquin’s son gave chase and hit their motorcycle, police said. But the man who shot Bunduquin managed to escape.
Bunduquin, described by colleagues as “hard-hitting,” was a blocktime host and commentator on dwXR 101.7 Kalahi FM and on online radio MUX, where he hosted the show, “Ayos Mandin.”
In a statement, Commission on Human Rights chair Richard Palpal-latoc decried this latest attack—the third under the Marcos administration and the 198th since 1986—and reminded the national government of its obligation to resolve media killings and ensure accountability in such cases.
“The right to truth and information can only be fostered in an environment where media practitioners can do their work without fear of attack or reprisal,” he said. “It is incumbent upon the State to ensure the resolution of all media killings and harassment to curb impunity and create an enabling environment for press freedom.”
The PNP, in a statement, said: “The police force is exerting every possible effort to solve this case and at the same time ensure the safety and security of all working journalists in the country through our network of regional PTFOMS (Presidential Task Force on Media Security) focal persons.”
PTFOMS has offered a reward of P50,000 for any information leading to the gunman’s immediate arrest.