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Blocktimer killed in Bohol; 146th since 1986 if work-related | CMFR

Blocktimer killed in Bohol; 146th since 1986 if work-related

CMFR/Philippines – A radio blocktimer was shot by an unidentified man and later died in hospital in Tagbilaran City, Bohol province on 14 February 2015 in another lethal attack on a journalist.  Bohol is 983 kilometers south of Manila.

In Philippine broadcast practice, a blocktimer is an individual who purchases “blocks” of TV or radio time for sponsorship. Among those journalists killed in the Philippines since 2002 are 41 blocktimers and “volunteer” practitioners who are not paid by the TV or radio station where they have programs.

Broadcaster and retired engineer Maurito Lim had just alighted from his car and was about to enter the office of dyRD radio at around 10:45 a.m. when a gunman on a motorcycle started shooting. Lim sustained a gunshot wound in his left jaw.  The lone gunman fled on his motorcycle after the incident.

Lim was rushed to the Governor Celestino Gallares Hospital where he was given emergency surgery but died at 1:15 p.m.

Lim is the second journalist killed in the Philippines in 2015. If proven to be work-related, the killing of Lim will be the 146th case of a journalist/ media worker killed in the Philippines in the line of duty since 1986.

Lim anchored the program Chairman Mao on Board with lawyer and former Bohol governor Victor de la Serna. The program aired every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. It had no sponsor.

A member of the dyRD staff told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) that Lim and de la Serna had recently discussed the involvement of local officials in the illegal drug trade. Lim had not reported any threats to his life to the station management before the killing.

The management of  dyRD condemned the killing and expressed grief over the death of the radio blocktimer.

CMFR tried to contact the head investigator of the case for further updates, but he was unavailable as of press time.