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Journalist survives attempt on his life following attack by unidentified gunmen

(CMFR/IFEX) - A Filipino radio broadcaster survived an attack by unknown gunmen in Kalibo town, Aklan on 2 January 2009. Kalibo is the capital of Aklan, a province approximately 356 km south of Manila.

At around 11:45 p.m. (local time), Charie "Che" Indelible, news director and anchor of local government-run radio station dyYM 98.5 Hot FM, was on his way home on his motorcycle when unknown gunmen fired at him. Indelible was not hurt.

Indelible told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), a SEAPA founding member based in Manila, that he had come from a colleague's house and was approximately 20 to 30 meters away from his boarding house when the gunmen fired at him.

Indelible ran to his boarding house and called the police. After a few minutes, he went outside and saw two unknown men in front of the house. "They seemed to be accomplices of the gunmen and were checking if I was injured," Indelible said in Filipino.

Another round of gunshots was fired at him from a building across from his boarding house while he was questioning the two men. He immediately took cover behind a car parked in front of his boarding house, and then went to the hospital nearby to take refuge.

Indelible said he tried to hold the two suspected accomplices at St. Jude hospital with the help of the hospital's security guard until the police came but they were able to run away. Indelible even went after the two alleged accomplices but the gunmen started firing at him again.

Local police recovered .38 and .45 calibre pistol shells around Indelible's boarding house.

Police later captured the two men who were allegedly at the boarding house, as well as one of the suspected gunmen. Indelible said these three men point to a certain Miguel Salcedo and a certain Jojo Garmino as the other gunmen. Salcedo and Garmino are at large.

A complaint was filed on 6 January 2009 against Salcedo and Garmino before the local prosecutor's office.

Indelible told CMFR the murder attempt came as a surprise. Indelible did not receive any threat prior to the incident. The last death threat he received was in the first quarter of 2008, he said. But Indelible believes the attack was related to his work. He has been discussing in his program "Bira Birada" issues involving a local government official and anomalies at the local electric company, Aklan Electrical Cooperative.

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