Online news commentator shot dead in Sorsogon

CMFR/PHILIPPINES — Two men on a motorcycle shot dead an online news commentator in Sorsogon City on 14 September 2020. Sorsogon is 529 kilometers south of Manila.

Jobert “Polpog” Bercasio of Balangibog Online News TV was himself on his motorcycle along Brgy. Cabid-an in Sorsogon when the suspects shot him at around 8 p.m. The victim suffered four gunshots wounds and died on the spot.

Bercasio was known for his hard-hitting commentaries about local issues in the province. Prior to his killing, he hosted the morning news program “Kurahaw Bicolandia” in Balangibog Online News TV which airs on Facebook every Monday to Thursday at 10 a.m. 

Police Regional Office 5 created a task force to investigate the killing. The police are looking at the issue of quarrying in the province about which the commentator posted a comment on his social media account as a possible motive.

In a Facebook post, Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero condemned the killing. He said, “any attack or killing of a journalist or a mediaman is also an attack on the very same freedom that we swore to protect.” If his killing is proven to be work-related, Bercasio will be the 17th journalist killed in the line of duty under the Duterte administration, and the 169th since 1986.