DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 24, 2007) – Unidentified gunman shot dead a radio broadcaster in a daring broad daylight attack in the southern Filipino port city of Davao, police said.
Police said Freddie Lintuan was instantly killed in the attack that occurred at around 10 a.m. “We still don’t know the motive of the killing. There is an investigation going on,” policeman Anthony Suniel told the regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.
No other details were made available by the police, but extra-judicial killings are rampant in Davao, where several journalists also had been murdered in the past. Among them were Ed Palomares, Cezar Magalang, Narciso Balani, Rogie Zagado in 1987 and Juan Pala Jr., in 2003.
Last week, a freelance journalist, Romelito Oval Jr., was also killed and his body buried in a shallow grave on a remote village in Butuan City in southern Philippines.
To date, more than 900 people have been killed and hundreds missing since President Gloria Arroyo took office in 2001, according to the United Methodist News Service. Among the victims are dozens of lawyers, judges, and church leaders.
In Davao City, hundreds of people had been killed the past years and most of them were suspected criminals believed murdered by private gangsters belonging to the shadowy group called Davao Death Squad.
In October, a Filipino broadcaster, Jose Pantoja, was shot and seriously wounded in front of the Mindanao State University in Iligan City. The attacker fled after the shooting.
In August, unidentified gunman also shot and wounded another broadcaster, Manuel Kong, of the radio station dxSN, in Surigao City.
Five journalists had been killed and two others wounded in separate attacks in the Philippines since early this year, according to the National Union of Journalists.
The Philippines is branded as one of the most dangerous place for journalists because of unresolved killings. Dozens of journalists were killed the past years and most of the cases remain unresolved. (Mindanao Examiner)