Broadcaster paralyzed in 2005 slay try dies without seeing justice

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Jan) – A radio commentator who survived an assassination attempt nearly 10 years ago but was paralyzed from the waist down, passed away on January 15, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Media Safety Office announced in a press statement.

Alberto “Pastor” Martinez, 57, was a hard-hitting broadcaster in North Cotabato who had been receiving death threats before he was shot evening of April 10, 2005, some 200 meters from his radio station in Kabacan town. The bullet pierced his spine and lodged in his body.

Martinez claimed the perpetrators were his neighbor Ronilo Quinones, businessman Romeo Araneta and soldier Alvaro Obregon, whom he tagged as the gunman, and filed frustrated murder charges against them in September 2005.

The court began hearing the case only in 2007, the NUJP said.

“Obregon, who his superiors in the Philippine Army have tried to protect by claiming he was in Sulu on a mission at the time of the assassination attempt, and Quinones remains out on bail. In fact Obregon remains in active duty,” the NUJP said.

Araneta has been in hiding since the trial began in 2007, the NUJP said.

MindaNews tried but was unable to verify, as of presstime, if Obregon is still in active duty.

Martinez’ remains are at the Villa Jusa Funeral in Osias, Kabacan. He will be buried on January 24.

He left behind his wife, Geraldine, and two children. (MindaNews)