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Radio blocktimer killed in ambush

(CMFR/IFEX) - 13 April 2012 - Police have yet to identify the suspects in the ambush of a radio blocktimer and barangay (village) council chairman last 8 April 2012 in Davao City. Davao City is approximately 978 kilometers south of Manila.

Blocktimers buy "blocks" of radio or TV airtime for their programs, which they market to advertisers. Aldion Layao, radio blocktimer at dxRP and chairman of the Lacson village council, was on his way home at around 9:30 p.m. with his cousin when two unidentified men riding tandem on a motorcycle fired at him. According to witnesses, the suspects drove by the driver's window and fired at Layao. Layao sustained two gunshot wounds in the neck. He was rushed to a hospital, but doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Davao City Police Office Deputy Director Dario Gunabe, head of Task Force Layao, told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) that they (police) have an artist's sketch of one of the suspects based on witnesses' accounts. But Gunabe said the police have not yet established the motive for the shooting.

"The investigation is ongoing," Gunabe said in a phone interview last 12 April 2012.

In a report in the newspaper Sun.Star Davao, Rica Niña, Layao's wife, "confirmed her husband was at odds with some members of the barangay council whom she suspected to be behind the killing."

Meanwhile, other news reports indicated that Layao's radio commentaries may have triggered the attack. According to Super Radyo Davao station manager Arnie Delfin, Layao used to host a public affairs program in the radio station but resigned after he was elected barangay chairman. He continued his media work as a blocktimer for dxRP in which he did commentaries on local issues.
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