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Radio commentator killed in Camarines Sur

(CMFR/IFEX) - Radio commentator Romeo Olea was shot dead on 13 June 2011 in Iriga City, Camarines Sur province. Iriga City is located approximately 294 kilometers from Manila.

Olea, 49, of San Miguel, Iriga City, was riding a motorcycle on the national highway on his way to the dwEB radio station's office in Nabua, Camarines Sur, when he was shot at around 5:52 a.m. He was immediately taken to the Rinconada Medical Center but was declared dead on arrival at around 5:55 a.m.

In an interview with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Liza Jane Aldeza of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Nabua said two 9 mm shells were found at the crime scene. A report from the online news website said that Olea had been shot twice in the back.

Police are looking at the killing as work-related. Aldeza, however, clarified that the incident is still under investigation.

Olea anchored "Anything Goes", a commentary and news editorial program, and often discussed issues of Iriga City governance on air. If work related, Olea's killing would be the fourth case of a journalist or media worker killed in the line of duty under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, and the third in 2011. He would also be the sixth journalist from the Bicol Region killed in the line of duty since 1986, and the second from Camarines Sur.

The first work-related killing of a journalist under the year-old Aquino administration and first case in the province was that of another dwEB broadcaster, Miguel Belen. Belen, who had been reporting on local elections and corruption, was shot on 9 July 2010 and died on 31 July. Before he died, he identified Eric Vargas and Gina Bagacina as his attackers. Murder charges have been filed against those two suspects.
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