Manila:The body of a programme host who has been missing for two weeks was found in Maguindanao recently as an international and local journalists groups aired concern over attacks carried out on mediamen in the country.
Reports reaching Manila said the remains of Eddie Jesus Apostol was found in Sultan sa Barongis in Liguasan Marsh on September 1 - two weeks after he was reported missing.
“The IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) expresses deep concern over the continuing attacks on journalists in the Philippines throughout 2012.” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said in a statement.
“We call on the authorities of the Philippines to act quickly to establish the motive for the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice,” she added.
Apostol, 52, who works as a block-timer for radio station dxND, had apparently been executed by his assailants. He was found with two gunshot wounds in the head and his hands tied by a rope.
The National Union of Journalists Philippines, (NUJP) local Kidapawan Chapter, quoted regional military spokesman, Col. Prudencio Asto, as saying the motorcycle used by Apostol was missing as well as and a still unknown amount of money he had with him.
Authorities nevertheless, found Apostol’s press card in the area where his body was found.
As a radio-block timer, Apostol generates revenue through the air-time he sells to advertisers in his radio programme. His show “Konseho sa Kahanginan” (Council on Air) tackles local development programmes.
Reports said that Apostol’s show had only been on air for about a year.
Malu Manar, DXND Radio’s programming was quoted as saying that police have yet to establish a motive for the killing and if the crime had something to do with his work as a local mediaman.
Nevertheless, the IFJ, NUJP as well as the International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for the “immediate investigation into the killing and to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Aside from being a radio personality, Apostol is also a former town councillor.
During the time of his murder, the victim was also engaged in hunting for treasure in North Cotabato.
News reports quoted Ramil Apostol as saying that his family had last seen his brother on August 29, the day he left his village for a ‘treasure hunt’ with an unidentified person in North Cotabato province.
Apostol frequently engaged in such treasure-hunting activities, reports said
According to the IFJ, the Philippines counts as amongst the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers. Over 160 journalists have been killed in the line of duty in the Philippines since 1986 and so far, at least three other scribes have been killed in the country for 2012.
Maguindanao, where Apostol’s body was found, figured in the news in November 2009 when 57 people died in what is now regarded as the biggest political killing in the country. Among the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre were 32 media workers.