“Political blocktimer” killed in Digos

Killed was Armando “Racman" Pace, 51, host of “Ukadyang,” a 30-minute program aired Mondays to Fridays from 12:30 noon to 1 p.m.

DXDS OIC manager Ramon Sibya was not available for interview as he was reportedly not feeling well but  Roy Geonson, manager of Radyo Ukay in Davao City, the main Radyo Ukay, told MindaNews Pace was a “political blocktimer.”

A “political blocktimer” buys airtime from the radio station for political purposes. “Dili na siya empleyado diri” (he is not an employee here),  Rico Kaamino, DXDS technician on board as of 6 p.m. told MindaNews in a telephone interview.

Kaamino said Pace had just left the station and was returning home when shot along Rizal Avenue, several meters away.

Pace, he said, was a blocktimer of the station since January. Before DXDS, he said, Pace was a blocktimer of radio station DXML also in Digos City.

In a statement, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in Davao City said Pace was “the ninth journalist who died this year, making the state of press freedom this year even worse than last year when the country was pronounced by international media groups as the world’s most dangerous place for journalists.” 

The NUJP’s list of journalists killed “is getting longer.” It said that this year alone, “they include George Vigo, Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Kidapawan city (June 19); Macel Alave-Vigo, commentators, radio station DxND; Fernando "Dong" Batul, DYPR Puerto Princesa, Palawan (May 22); Albert Orsolino, Saksi Ngayon (May 16); Nicolas Cervantes, Surigao (May 2); Orlando Mendoza, Tarlac Profile/Tarlac Patrol (April 2); Graciano Aquino, Central Luzon Forum, Bataan (January 21); Rolly Cañete, DXPR, Pagadian city (January 20).”

“We call for these killings to stop and demand that the Arroyo administration should do something about it…. we are dismayed over the Arroyo government’s inaction,” said Carmelito Q. Francisco, chair of the NUJP-Davao chapter. (MindaNews)