ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/30 August)—Iligan lone district Rep. Vicente “Varf” Belmonte offered a P300,000 bounty on Friday for the arrest of the killers of radio commentator Fernando “Nanding” Solijon of DXLS-Love Radio.
Solijon was killed Thursday night by two men who escaped on a motorcycle allegedly towards Lanao del Norte
Senior Supt. Cristito Ray Gonzalo, city police director, told reporters that Task Force Nanding Solijon has been created to investigate the radioman’s killing.
If Solijon’s murder would be proven to be work-related, he would be the 159th media practitioner murdered in the country since 1986 and the 19th since President Benigno Aquino III came to office in 2010, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
Solijon was a known supporter of Rep. Belmonte, NUJP added.
NUJP said that police investigators recovered eight spent shells of a .45 caliber handgun from the crime scene.
Gonzalo said that Solijon, who was known for his hard-hitting commentaries on local politics and the illegal drugs trade, was the 35th victim of summary killings in the city since January 2013, of which 11 happened this month.
Cris Dapo, DxLS radio technician, told MindaNews that Solijon was lately tackling controversies about the use of the local intelligence fund.
Solijon was with fellow radio reporters Dario Navales and Alvin Suan and a female staff of DXLS for a night out at Purok 1 in Barangay Buruun moments before he was killed at around 10:30 p.m.
Solijon was crossing the street to his parked car when he was attacked, the NUJP said.
Atty. Alex Cabornay, head of the National Bureau of Investigation in Iligan City, said that one suspect was wearing a motorcycle face mask while his companion wore a hood to conceal their faces.
The portion of the road where Solijon was killed was dark, Cabornay said, adding that witnesses saw the suspects rounding twice the place, a sari-sari store, where the reporters were getting together before the attack.
Mayor Cesar Regencia condemned the killing of Solijon, lashing at the local police force for its apparent inability to address the series of killings in the city.
City councilor Providencio Abragan Jr., a lawyer, met with local radio reporters Friday and assured them that the city council will work to help resolve the case of Solijon.
“I am ashamed that the killing of a media worker happened in this city,” Abragan said. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)