Philippine radio host gunned down for criticizing corrupt gambling
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Philippine police to complete their investigation into last week’s murder of a radio commentator in Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental province, and to bring all the suspects to justice.
Dindo Generoso, the host of a daily programme on Dumaguete-based dyEM 96.7 Bai Radio and critic of a popular local form of gambling, was driving to work on the morning of 7 November when he was shot seven times by two gunmen on a motorcycle, and died on the spot.
At first the provincial police suggested that his murder was the result of a family feud. But then they established from CCTV video footage that one of the hitmen left a pickup before getting on the motorcycle, and that the pickup, after it was found abandoned in a Dumaguete suburb, belong to a bookmaker called Tomasino Aledro.
Aledro is a local operator of a form of gambling called Small Town Lottery. Based on the traditional numbers game jueteng, it is very popular in the Philippines, soaking up vast amounts of money and reportedly giving rise to a great deal of corruption. It is particularly popular in Negros Oriental province and was often denounced by Generoso on his radio show.
“We hail the speed with which the police appear to have identified the perpetrators and instigators of Dindo Generoso’s terrible murder,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Now they must ensure that all these criminals are found and brought to justice in order to break the vicious cycle of impunity that so often accompanies crimes of violence against Philippine journalists.”
Police Colonel Julian Entoma, the head of the Negros Oriental provincial police, told the media that, in addition to Aledro, the police have identified three other suspects: Aledro’s brother-in-law, Teddy Salaw, and two accomplices within the police force, Glenn Corsame and Roher Rubio. So far, only Salaw and Corsame have been arrested. Aledro and Rubio are still at large.
Generoso’s murder recalls that of Edmund Sestoso, another Dumaguete-based radio commentator, who was gunned down by a motorcycle gunman as he was driving home in May 2018. Sestoso’s murder is still unpunished.
The Philippines is ranked 134th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.