KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 30 October) – A journalist based in Sultan Kudarat province is still fighting for his life in a hospital in Tacurong City after he was shot by still unidentified gunmen at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
Lt. Col Rey Egos, Tacurong City acting police chief, said Benjie Abdul Caballero, station manager of Radyo ni Juan, was standing on the roadside in Barangay New Isabela waiting for a tricycle when two still unidentified suspects on board a motorcycle suddenly appeared.
“The back rider alighted, walked closer to the victim and shot him,” the official said in a report sent to the PRO-12 Public Information Office, which MindaNews obtained at 3:42 p.m.
He was hit at the chest, said Egos. He did not say how many bullets were fired at the victim.
Allan Freno, Tacurong City information officer, said the victim was rushed to a local hospital.
“We were shocked to learn that he was shot,” Freno said in a telephone interview.
Freno also said that a motorcycle backrider shot Caballero while he was waiting for a tricycle ride outside his boarding house in Barangay New Isabela.
Freno rushed to the hospital but said physicians have not released a medical bulletin for the victim.
Citing records from the local police, Freno said Caballero way back reported that he had received death threats.
Freno said Caballero is setting up Radyo ni Juan in the city, which already applied for the necessary permits.
Currently, the station plays music but is still not airing public affairs programs, the information officer said.
Freno said Tacurong Mayor Angelo Montilla was shocked to hear the news.
The victim attended the “kapihan” or the city government’s news briefing last Monday, Freno said.
A local radio reporter who also rushed to the hospital to check on Caballero said the victim was “not in stable condition.”
Caballero was known to contribute to the tabloid Remate.
As of 4:34 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Col Lino Capellan, Police Regional office-12 spokesperson, said Caballero was still ongoing medical procedures, citing information from the Tacurong City police station. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)