Philippines: Another radio reporter killed

Sunday 13 January, 2019


John Michael Decano, a volunteer radio reporter with Pasalinggaya dwPY 88.1 FM Radio in Sorsogon City, Philippines was found dead at a massage parlour on Wednesday.

Decano, popularly known as “Jelai”, was 35. His personal belongings were reportedly missing when his body was found sprawled on the floor.

According to the Bicol police spokesperson Decano’s body bore signs that he was hit by a hard object in the head, which could have been a concrete stove found nearby.

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) has expressed alarm that in just a span of two weeks two broadcasters have been killed in the Philippines, including Decano.

On December 28, radio announcer Gabriel Alburo of 94.5 dyJL FM in Negros Oriental, located in Central Visayas region, was felled by a bullet by unknown assailants.

"Until authorities in the Philippines regularly conduct thorough, credible, and efficient investigations into journalists' murders, the entrenched cycle of impunity will continue," said Shawn Crispin, Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) senior Southeast Asia representative. "We call on relevant authorities to leave no stone unturned in identifying the motive and prosecuting the perpetrator of this crime."

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security, a state body established by President Rodrigo Duterte to tackle media murder cases, said in a statement that it would consider Decano's killing to be related to his work as a radio announcer until proved otherwise.

To date 14 print and broadcast journalists have been murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016. Of these, 12 were radio announcers.

The country ranked fifth on the 2018 Global Impunity Index of the New York-based CPJ. It is the only country in Southeast Asia to make the list. 

Country Philippines
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