Radio broadcaster shot dead in Oriental Mindoro third journalist killed under Marcos Jr.’s watch

CMFR/PHILIPPINES – Two men aboard a motorcycle shot and killed a radio commentator on May 31, 2023, in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, 237 kilometers south of Manila.

DWXR 101.7 Kalahi FM blocktimer Cresenciano “Cris” Bunduquin was opening his store along C5 Road in Barangay Santa Isabel at round 4 a.m. when one of the assailants approached him and shot him. The suspects immediately fled after the incident.

According to Police Colonel Samuel Delorino, chief of the Philippine National Police in Oriental Mindoro, the gunman was killed during a pursuit operation while police were still locating the other suspect.

Bunduquin co-hosts the blocktime program “Balita at Talakayan” with Sandy Soriano. The program airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.

Blocktiming is a practice in the Philippines in which “blocktimers” buy airtime from broadcast stations for their own programs.

Kalahi FM station manager Jester Mendrano Joaquin described Bunduquin as a “hard-hitting” commentator. He told CMFR that the former had received threats prior to his killing. “Knowing Cris for a long time, may nababanggit [siya] sa akin na mga threat [sa] [ka]nya pero di siya dun nakafocus eh. He is very professional. His focus is only on his job,” Joaquin said.

Bunduquin had commented on several local issues on his radio program including the recent oil spill affecting the province, politics, mining, and illegal gambling. 

The police have yet to identify the motive of the killing. A Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) was already created to look at the issue.

Bunduquin is the third journalist killed under Marcos Jr.’s watch. If proven work-related, his killing will be the 178th case of journalists killed in the line of work since 1986.