On January 24, 2011, radio talk show host Gerardo Ortega was shot in the back of the head in a thrift store in Puerto Princesa City, where he was shopping shortly after his daily broadcast. Superintendent Roland Amurao suspected Ortega’s broadcasts to be the motive for the killing.
He told the Agence France-Press that “Ortega’s hard-hitting commentaries were against mining companies he had accused of destroying Palawan’s environment”.
The police filed charges against de Marlon Recamata and Dennis Aranas, both of whom admitted they were hired to kill Ortega for 150,000 pesos. The police also traced the weapon used in Ortega’s murder to one Romeo Seratubias, a former employee of a governor Ortega had once accused of corruption. Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and Marinduque Gov. Jose Antionio Carrion were named as masterminds in the murder complaint filed by the family of Ortega before the Department of Justice. The prosecutor dropped the case, however. A special panel of prosecutors formed by the Department of Justice is reinvestigating the case.
Even after the tragedy of the 2009 Ampatuan town massacre, violence against journalists continues to plague the Philippines.
More information on the killing of journalists and media workers can be found on the CMFR interactive map (http://www.cmfr-phil.org/journalistkilled)