MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A radio broadcaster was shot dead outside his home in the central Philippines on Wednesday, police said, the latest in a long list of journalists killed in the country.
Cresenciano Bunduquin, 50, was killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro province, police Colonel Samuel Delorino told AFP.
One of the assailants died after Bunduquin’s son hit the gunmen with his vehicle as they fled the scene of the pre-dawn attack.
“The remaining suspect was able to run off. The hot pursuit operation is still ongoing,” said Delorino.
The archipelago nation is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, and most of the killers often go unpunished.
Radio broadcasters outside the capital were often the target.
Bunduquin hosted a programme on radio station 101.7 DWXR as well as on Facebook, said station manager Jester Joaquin, who described the broadcaster as “hard-hitting” on local issues.
He had been outspoken about a recent oil spill affecting the province, illegal gambling and politics.
“He told me before that he’s receiving threats but he didn’t elaborate,” Joaquin told 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.”
Delorino said police were investigating whether Bunduquin had an enemy or a personnel quarrel.
Bunduquin is the third journalist to be killed since President Ferdinand Marcos took office last June.
The latest killing comes less than a year after radio personality Percival Mabasa was shot dead in Manila as he drove to his studio.
“Bunduquin’s killing further shows that journalists in the Philippines still operate under threat despite our improvement in the press freedom index and the relatively friendlier relations that media has with the current administration,” said Jonathan de Santos, chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
“When perpetrators of attacks on media are not held to account and victims of these attacks do not get justice, future attacks become more likely.”