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Radio journalist stabbed, seriously wounded following reports on crime

(CMFR/IFEX) - A radio reporter was stabbed and seriously wounded by an unknown assailant on 31 August 2007 in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental province, approximately 480 km from Manila.

Joel Abilay, a news reporter for Radio GMA (RGMA) in Cadiz, was in a market at around 7:00 p.m. (local time) when he was stabbed twice in the back. Bystanders rushed Abilay to the Cadiz district hospital. He was later transferred to the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in nearby Silay City. According to Jessie Morin, the police officer in Cadiz in charge of the case, the assailant was a male in his early teens.

Sheryl Iqduila, a news reporter for RGMA Bacolod, said that Abilay usually filed police reports on the illegal gambling and illegal drug trade in Cadiz City. According to Iqduila, Abilay's reports may have been the reason for the attack. Morin said the only motive the police have considered so far is retaliation for Abilay's reports.

Iqduila said Abilay is now in stable condition.

Negros Occidental has been the scene of other attacks on journalists. RGMA Bacolod station manager Ferdinand "Bambi" Yngson was shot in Sagay City on 25 July by Romeo Bauden Corbo Jr, deputy officer of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) (see IFEX alert of 26 July 2007). The motive for the attack is believed to be Yngson's critical commentaries on the LTO. Corbo, who was arrested while allegedly trying to escape, was reported to have cursed and shouted at Yngson in the course of the encounter, saying "You keep attacking the LTO!"

Yngson was recently discharged from the hospital and has filed attempted murder charges against Corbo.

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