WHAT WENT BEFORE
Even before saying on Tuesday that corrupt journalists deserved to die, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte had called journalists “paid hacks” for sensationalism and bias.
Speaking on television evangelist Apollo Quiboloy’s late night program on May 9, Duterte implied that some journalists had been paid to write against him.
Duterte assailed the newspapers and television networks, saying they produced “garbage” when they published and aired the claim of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that he had hundreds of millions of pesos in secret bank accounts.
Duterte had harsher words for his critics: “It will backfire on you. You will die one by one.”
More than 170 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since the restoration of democracy in 1986, making the country the second deadliest in the world for journalists.
In Davao City, seven journalists, all of whom were working for local radio stations, had been killed since Duterte became mayor in 1987.
On Aug. 29, 1987, dxRA anchor Leo Palo, Rogie Zagado and Cesar Magalang and technician Narciso Balani were gunned down by suspected communist rebels after raiding the local radio station.
On Sept. 6, 2003, Jun Pala, a commentator on local radio station dxGO, was shot by two men while he was walking home with two companions.
It was the third attack on Pala’s life since June 2001. In April 2003, armed men waylaid him, but he survived the attack.
Pala pointed to Duterte as the most likely culprit. He said he could not think of anybody else who would try to silence him.
Duterte countered: “If I was the one who did it, he would have been dead already.”
On Dec. 24, 2007, Fernando Lintuan, a former block-timer on dxGO and a columnist for the regional English-language daily Sun Star, was shot dead in his car by a motorcycle-riding gunman.
Lintuan was known for his denunciations of official corruption and government wrongdoings on his radio program.
On April 8, 2012, Aldion Layao, a block-timer on another local radio station in Davao, dxRP, was shot dead in his car by two men on a motorcycle.
Layao had a public affairs program on dxRP but resigned after he was elected to his the city council, of which he was chair at the time of his murder. Rafael L. Antonio, Inquirer Research
Sources: NUJP, CPJ, AFP and Inquirer Archives
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