Radio journalist murdered, fourth this year

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the fatal shooting of radio presenter Jonathan Petalvero in a restaurant in Bayugan, in the southern province of Agusan del Sur. Petalvero hosted a programme that supported a local politician.

“It is too soon to say whether this murder was linked to the victim’s work as a journalist, but the authorities must quickly assign enough personnel to the case to be able to identify the killer and the instigators,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Three other radio hosts have been killed in the Philippines since the start of the year. That is more than in Iraq in the same period.”

Journalistic sources said Petalvero was shot in the head on 27 June, although police statements gave the day of his murder as 25 June. Aged 43, he hosted the programme “Balita at Komentaryo” on radio DXFM “Frenster Radio.”

Nothing is so far known about the motive, which may have been political. The gunman was masked and was probably a hired killer. Radio DXFM is owned by Bayugan’s current deputy mayor, Genesis Efren, who plans to run for mayor in elections scheduled for May 2010.

A district councillor, Petalvero had planned to run for municipal councillor or deputy mayor representing Efren’s party in the elections.

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