Radio correspondent shot dead in QC; 150th killing of journalist since 1986 if work-related
CMFR/ Philippines – Two days before the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity on November 2, an unidentified assailant shot dead a radio correspondent in front of a fast food restaurant in Brgy. Kaligayahan, Quezon City, Metro Manila on October 31.
DwIZ volunteer reporter Jose Bernardo was parking his motorcycle in front of a fast food restaurant at about 9:00 pm when the lone gunman shot him at close range. The assailant then walked to a waiting motorcycle driven by a cohort. The suspects then fled the crime scene.
Bernardo died on the spot. He sustained two gunshot wounds in the head.
Before working as a dwIZ volunteer, Bernardo was a reporter of the blocktime program “Walang Personalan, Trabaho Lang” in dwBL hosted by radio blocktimer Ronald Pula. According to a dwIZ employee, the program failed to renew its contract and stopped broadcasting a month ago.
In Philippine broadcast practice, a blocktimer is an individual who purchases “blocks” of TV or radio time for sponsorship. Among the 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.
The police are yet to determine the motive for the killing, but investigators said that the incident could be related to Bernardo’s work as a journalist.
If proven work related the killing of Bernardo will be the 150th case of a journalist killed in the line of duty since 1986, and the 29th during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III.