Radio anchor killed while emceeing talent contest in Davao Oriental

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 June) —  An anchorman of  Sunrise FM in Mati,  Davao Oriental was killed onstage by a lone gunman late Monday evening while hosting an amateur singing  contest in a town about two hours away from Mati.

Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon, presently in Manila, told MindaNews by telephone that early this morning she ordered Philippine National Police provincial director Efren Perez to investigate the killing of Desiderio “Jessie” Camangyan, 52.

Perez told MindaNews  they have activated “Task Force Jessie”  to “concentrate on the investigation of the case.”

Malanyaon said she learned about the killing from the brother of Jessie, Councilor Maning Camangyan who phoned her this morning for help to retrieve his brother’s remains.

She said she immediately ordered Perez to retrieve the cadaver from Manay and to bring it to Mati.

“I don’t think it’s media-related,” Malanyaon said, adding Camangyan as commentator was “hindi hardhitting talaga” (not really hardhitting). But she added, “the PNP is investigating all angles.”

Councilor Camangyan, told MindaNews his brother had just introduced a contestant in the Grand Finals in Barangay Old Macopa, Manay town at around 10:30 p.m. Monday then went back to his seat onstage. The lone gunman, he was told, shot his brother from behind, the bullet entering around the right side of his ear and exiting on the bridge between the eyes and nose.

No empty shell was reportedly found on the scene. No arrest was made. Camangyan said he was told there were soldiers deployed in the area

Camangayn said his brother left behind his wife Ruth and four young children the eldest of whom is “about six” and the youngest “about two” years old.

The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines-Davao chapter condemned the murder of Camangyan.

“That the killing happened in front of many people shows the perpetrators were no doubt emboldened to commit the crime in such a brazen manner because they were confident they would never be punished,” it said in a statement.

“Camangyan’s killing is yet one more proof of the ever-existent culture of impunity in our midst, which is most felt in small and remote communities dominated by the very powerful few,” the statement read.

In a statement, the national directorate of the NUJP said the killing of Camangyan “is a brazen declaration by the enemies of press freedom of their confidence that a mere changing of the guard in this country will not end the impunity with which they have imposed the ultimate censorship on more than a hundred journalists and media workers.”

According to the NUJP, Camangyan is “the 138th media worker killed since 1986 and the 101st under the Arroyo administration.”

“That he was murdered in plain view of the public speaks volumes of the contempt with which those who would silence the independent Philippine press hold our laws and our rights and liberties,” the statement added.

The NUJP called on the PNP “not only to act immediately on Camangyan’s killing and hunt down his murderers, especially the mastermind, but also to conduct an investigation into why the assassin managed to pull off the crime in such a brazen and public manner and get away with it?”

“Surely, there would have been police personnel assigned to secure the village during the event. Where were they? “ the NUJP asked. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)