Radio commentator killed in Camarines Sur

CMFR/PHILIPPINES – A radio commentator was shot dead Monday, 13 June 2011, in Iriga City, Camarines Sur province. Iriga City is approximately 294 kilometers from Manila.

Romeo Olea, 49, of San Miguel, Iriga City, was on a motorcycle on his way to the radio dwEB office in Nabua, Camarines Sur when he was shot around 5:52 a.m. (local time) along the national highway.

Olea was immediately brought to the Rinconada Medical Center. He was dead when he reached the hospital at around 5:55 a.m.

In an interview with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), SPO2 Liza Jane Aldeza of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Nabua, Camarines Sur said two 9 mm. shells were found at the crime scene. A report from the online news website said that Olea had been shot twice in the back.

Police are looking at the killing as work-related. Aldeza, however, clarified that the incident is still under investigation.

Olea anchored the program Anything Goes, a commentary/ news editorial program, and often discussed issues about Iriga City governance.

If work related, Olea’s killing would be the fourth case of a journalist/media worker killed in the line of duty under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, and the third in 2011. He would also be the sixth journalist from the Bicol Region killed in the line of duty since 1986, and the second from Camarines Sur province.

The first work-related killing of a journalist under the year-old Aquino administration and first case in the province was that of another dwEB broadcaster, Miguel Belen, in July 2010.  Belen, who had been reporting on local elections and corruption, was shot on 9 July and died on 31 July. Before he died, he identified an Eric Vargas and a Gina Bagacina as his attackers. Murder charges have already been filed against the two.

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