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Radio broadcaster investigating irregularity in local government murdered

(CMFR/IFEX) - Radio broadcaster Martin Roxas was killed on 7 August 2008 by a gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle in Roxas City, Capiz. The province is approximately 411 km southeast of Manila.

Roxas, program director of dyKR-Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) in Roxas City, was shot in the neck. Roxas was himself on a motorcycle. He was pronounced dead an hour after he was brought to the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital. He was 32.

Jeony Bigay, RMN's area manager for Western Visayas, said Roxas had just finished his noon show, "Targetanay sa Ugto" ("Targeting at Noon"), and was on his way home when attacked. Bigay said the attack happened at Bayot Drive in Roxas City, approximately two km from the radio station.

He said Roxas had been harassed by three unidentified men in the same area while he was on his way home. The station reported the harassment to the local police.

Bigay said that, during his 7 August program, Roxas interviewed Capiz First District Rep. Antonio "Tony" del Rosario about an alleged anomaly in the financial aid given to indigent hospital patients during del Rosario's term as mayor of Roxas City. Roxas found fictitious names in the list of recipients of the financial aid. Roxas had been discussing the alleged anomalous transaction in his program for two weeks.

Bigay will be meeting with Roxas's family to discuss their next move. "We will decide which government agency - the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) or the police-we'll ask for help," he explained.

"We believe this is 100% work-related," Bigay said. "We are deeply saddened. This is another assault (on press freedom) . . . We will continue what Roxas has started." The news director of dyKR-RMN Roxas will take over Roxas's program.

According to CMFR's research, Roxas was the fourth journalist/media practitioner killed this year. Thirty-three journalists/media practitioners have been killed in the line of duty in the Philippines since 2001. A few days prior to the killing of Roxas, on 4 August, an RMN anchor, Dennis Cuesta, was attacked in General Santos City, South Cotabato. Cuesta is still in a coma.

For further information on the Cuesta case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/95939

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