Radio broadcaster dies five days after being shot

CMFR/PHILIPPINES – A radio broadcaster died of his wounds 10 August 2008, five days after he was shot by unknown assailants in General Santos City, South Cotabato. General Santos is approximately 1,049 kms. southeast of Manila .

Dennis Cuesta, a commentator and program director of dxMD-Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) in General Santos, died at around 4 p.m. (local time), MindaNews online reported.

An unidentified gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle shot Cuesta on 4 August 2008 along a national highway near a shopping mall in General Santos City. Cuesta sustained wounds in the head and near the spinal column after being shot five times with a .45 caliber pistol.

RMN commentator Mel Coronel was earlier quoted as saying that dxMD-RMN General Santos City staff had rushed to the hospital on Saturday “after hearing he (Cuesta) had slightly opened his left eye and moved his eyeball.”

“We went inside to talk to him. It was like he was saying goodbye to us,” Coronel told the Associated Press.

Prior to the attack, Cuesta had been receiving death threats after reporting over his radio program “Sumbong at Aksyon” (“Grievance Desk”) the alleged contamination of a village’s water supply. This report led to an investigation by the City Health Council into who was responsible for the contamination.

Cuesta was the second RMN broadcaster killed this month. Martin Roxas, program director of dyVR-RMN in Roxas City, died on 7 August 2008 after a gunman, similarly riding pillion on a motorcycle, shot him a few kilometers away from the station. Two suspects have been arrested by local operatives for Roxas’s death.

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