Philippine radio show host gunned down after receiving threats
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Philippine prosecutors to do whatever it takes to identify those behind the contract-style killing of a radio show host as he was leaving his home this morning (31 May) in Calapan City, the capital of the central province of Oriental Mindoro.
Cresenciano “Cris” Bunduquin – the host of “Batita at Talakayan,” a show broadcast by DWXR 101.7FM, online radio MUX and other outlets – was fatally shot four times at around 4:20 am by two gunmen on a motorcycle, one of whom was caught and killed by Bunduquin’s son as they fled the scene.
Agence France-Presse quoted DWXR manager Jester Joaquin as saying Bunduquin was a “hard-hitting” journalist who recently told him he had received death threats in connection with his work.
In his latest shows, Bunduquin had denounced cases of local political corruption, the province’s illegal betting mafia and, above all, the circumstances surrounding last February’s nearby oil spill from the Princess Empress, a 50-year-old tanker whose operating permit had reportedly been forged.
“Everything indicates that Cris Bunduquin was murdered in reprisal for his journalistic comments. This shocking killing must not go unpunished, and we call on the Oriental Mindoro provincial prosecutor’s office to do everything possible to identify the perpetrators and, above all, the instigators and bring them before a judge. The vicious circle of impunity for crimes of violence against journalists must be broken.
With an average of three or four journalists murdered every year, the Philippines is one of the world’s deadliest countries for the media, according to RSF’s press freedom barometer.
As the Philippine population is dispersed across thousands of islands, radio plays a fundamental role in circulating news and information, and radio journalists often pay with their lives for being more outspoken and incisive than their print and TV colleagues.
Percy Lapid, the host of a show on Radio DWBL, was ambushed and killed by two shots fired at point-blank range by a gunman outside him home in the Manila suburb of Las Piñas last October.