Three killings and an attempted murder || Four journalists shot in two weeks

Two radio broadcasters were shot in separate incidents in cities of Tagum and Iloilo between last night (Dec. 10) and this morning (Dec. 11). One of them died on the spot, making him the third journalist murdered in a span of two weeks.

Minutes after his final broadcast, unidentified gunmen shot and killed Rogelio “Tata” Butalid, 46, blocktime commentator at Radyo Natin Tagum, right outside the station’s studios at Sobrecary St. in the city Wednesday morning.

Investigators said at around 9:00 am, Butalid was about to ride his motorcycle when the assailants fired shots at him. He sustained seven gunshot wounds.

Butalid, also a councilor of Bgy. (village) Mankilam, has been working for community radio since his college days. Before the killing, his commentaries have reportedly focused on electric power issues in Davao del Norte province (
Late last night (Dec. 10), unidentified assailants shot and wounded radio reporter Jhonavin Villalba, 43, of dyOK Aksyon Radyo Iloilo.

Villalba was opening the gate of his home in Bgy. Cuartero when two men aboard a motorcycle fired shots at him, according to the Iloilo chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

The Iloilo-based commentator sustained gunshot wounds in his toe and ankle, and was immediately rushed to Iloilo Mission Hospital for treatment.

Investigators found spent shells of 9-millimeter calibre at the crime scene.

Butalid and Villalba are the third and fourth journalists attacked in shooting incidents during the past two weeks. Three of these four, including Villalba, died.

Last Friday (Dec. 6), Prime FM National Supervisor and program director Michael Milo was shot dead, also by unidentified gunmen, in Tandag City.

Milo was driving along Bgy. Mabua when the motorcycle gunmen riding suspects riddled him with bullets.
The NUJP Media Safety Office in Mindanao is currently investigating if Milo’s killing is work-related.
A week earlier, on Nov. 29, Bukidnon-based commentator Joas Dignos was shot dead in Valencia City. The motive appears to be work-related.

If also proven work-related, Bulid and Milo would be the 159th and 160th journalists killed in the line of duty since 1986.

So far, NUJP has recorded 19 work-related media murders, an average of six per year under Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s watch.

For reference
JB Deveza
Coordinator, NUJP Mindanao Safety Office
Rupert Mangilit
Coordinator, NUJP Media Safety Office
Sec. General, NUJP
Rowena Paraan
Chairperson, NUJP
Exec. Coordinator, NUJP Media Safety Office


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