Dumaguete radio broadcaster shot dead
CMFR/PHILIPPINES – A radio broadcaster was gunned down and killed by still unidentified assailants in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on 5 May 2020. Dumaguete City is 639.71 km south of Manila.
The attack happened two days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day and an hour after ABS-CBN signed off in compliance with the cease and desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission. It also happened five days after the city eased quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cornelio Pepino, more popularly known in the city as Rex Cornelio, anchor of the evening program “Pukpukin Mo Baby” (Whack It, Baby) of dyMD Energy FM 93.7, was onboard his motorcycle with his wife when riding-in-tandem gunmen shot him shortly before 9 pm. the incident happened along Villa Amada Street, Barangay Daro in this city.
Pepino was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival. No details about his wife’s condition were released.
CMFR previously reported that Pepino had been charged with two counts of libel in 2015. The charges were filed by then Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, who claimed that Pepino implied in his program that he was a corrupt official and that he failed to address illegal mining issues in the province. Pepino was acquitted by Branch 39 of the Dumaguete Regional Trial Court in 2017.
Pepino is the third journalist to be slain in the city since 2018. Edmund Sestoso of dyGB Power91 FM was killed on 30 April 2018 in the same barangay. Dindo Generoso, a blocktimer of dyEM 96.7 Bai Radio FM was killed on 7 November 2019 in Barangay Piapi. Both attacks were committed by motorcycle-riding gunmen.If his killing is work-related, Pepino will be the 167th journalist killed in the line of duty since 1986, and the 16th under the Duterte administration.