The Philippines is living up to its reputation of being the world’s most murderous country for journalists. Just this May, two mediamen were killed in two weeks. Another one was arrested while he was broadcasting on air.
We haven’t even written about Klein Cantoneros yet when we got the news about Philip Agustin. Cantoneros, a hard-hitting radio broadcaster for dxAA-FM in Dipolog City whose commentaries targeted local politicians, was ambushed last May 4 by gunmen riding a motorcycle. He died in the hospital before that day ended.
Agustin, on the other hand, was publisher-editor of Starline Times Recorder. He was shot dead in his daughter’s home in Dingalan, Aurora, before midnight Tuesday. New reports the murder of Agustin happened after he ordered a reprint of his paper’s special issue on alleged “missing” funds in the municipal hall, which put the town mayor in bad light.
Another hard-hitting radio commentator, Al Josol, manager of the Radio Mindanao Network’s (RMN) station dxMD in General Santos City, was arrested on Monday (May 9) morning for two counts of libel filed against him by the city tourism officer’s wife. He was reportedly not even allowed to finish his radio program.