Philippine government condemns radioman's killing

Philippine government condemns radioman's killing

Malacañang has condemned the killing on Saturday of dyRD radio commentator Maurito Lim in Tagbilaran City, Bohol province.

A lone gunman shot Lim about 11 a.m. on Saturday after he parked his vehicle in front of the radio station dyRD in Tagbilaran City.

"Local authorities are currently moving to capture and serve justice to those responsible for this crime," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. in a statement issued Sunday.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) demanded "swift justice" for Lim as it deplored the continued killing of media persons.

"We have run out of words of condemnation in the face of the murder of yet another colleague," the NUJP said in a Feb. 15 statement on the killing of Maurito Lim.

"While we seriously doubt demanding justice will get us, or Maurito Lim's family and colleagues, anywhere, we challenge the government to prove us wrong by acting swiftly to solve the case, arrest the killers and, most important, the mastermind who ordered his death," the group said.

The assailant disembarked from a motorcycle, approached Lim who was still at the driver's seat, and shot the victim in the head.

Lim, 71, died about two hours later at the Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City, said Chief Insp. George Vale, city police director.

Vale said investigators had yet to determine the motive for the killing although they would not discount the possibility that it was related to his job as an anchorman.

The investigators, he added, were also checking if the victim had a fight with someone.

Vale said Lim was a former official of the National Power Corp. and was handling a weekly blocktime programme over dyRD titled "Chairman Mau on board."

An employee of the station said Lim usually discussed and made comments on a variety of issues. Lim was also a dealer of a popular herbal drink.

Initial police report showed that Lim had just parked his sport utility vehicle (with plate number WWW 888) in front the radio station on B. Inting Street when the gunman went to the driver's side, shot Lim in the head and casually walked to his motorcycle that was parked behind Lim's Isuzu Crosswind.

Vale said the bullet entered the victim's left cheek and exited through the right temporal area. An empty shell from .45-caliber pistol was recovered.

Vale said that based on the footage of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera at dyRD, a man on a motorcycle appeared to have been tailing Lim.

After Lim parked his SUV, the gunman also parked his motorcycle behind the Isuzu Crosswind.

Then the gunman disembarked, went to the driver side of the vehicle and shot Lim once as shown in the CCTV footage, said Vale.

The police chief said they could not distinguish the face of the gunman because he was wearing a helmet. But he added that the Tagbilaran police immediately conducted hot pursuit operation and checkpoints to apprehend the gunman.

Lim is the second journalist slain in Bohol, the 172nd since 1986, and the 31st under the administration of President Aquino, according to the NUJP.

The first was Antonio Silagon, publisher of Bohol Balita Daily News who was gunned down on Dec. 15, 2011, in Trinidad City.

Coloma said the government recognised the important role of journalists in society which was why it continued to hold dialogs with the reporters and workers in mass media to ensure their safety and protect press freedom.

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