A broadcaster was shot late Tuesday night and died while undergoing treatment in a hospital in northern Luzon early yesterday, a radio report said. Two motorcycle-riding men shot to death Joselito Agustin, 37, at the boundary of Bacarra town and Laoag City after 10pm on Tuesday, Laoag City police head Superintendent Sterling Blanco said in a radio interview.
Agustin was heading home from his office at the Laoag-based dzJC Aksyon Radyo. As he neared the boundary of Laoag and Bacarra, a rider of an overtaking motorcycle shot him four times on his left side, Blanco said. His nephew Joseph, who was aboard the motorcycle, recovered after sustaining a single gunshot wound. He refused to give details of the attack, said Blanco.
Agustin, also known as Aksyon Lito, was known for his advocacy against corruption in local government units. On May 7, Agustin's house in Bacarra was strafed by unknown men. At the time, Agustin survived the attack, said Blanco.
Ilocos regional police director Chief Superintendent Constante Azares Jr was appointed head of a task force to look into Agustin's killing, said Blanco. The broadcaster is survived by his wife and two young children. Late on Monday night, an unidentified gunman shot dead radio anchor Desidario Camangyan, 52, during an amateur singing contest which was also attended by his wife and six-year old son in Manay town, Davao Oriental province in the south.
Camangyan, an anchor of local radio station's Sunrise FM, was known for his relentless attacks on illegal loggers. A task force was created to focus on solving the case. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, a local press freedom group, and the Association of Filipino Broadcasters called for justice for the two victims of political killings.
A total of 137 journalists have been killed after the ouster of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Some 104 journalists were killed since 2001, the start of the administration of outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. New York-based media watchdog group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for proper investigation of the two incidents.
"The authorities must ensure that no witnesses are intimidated from coming forward or testifying, as has been the case in previous such murders in the Philippines," Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia programme coordinator, said on CPJ's website.