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Sometime weather reporter killed

(CMFR/IFEX) - Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead a radio station employee who also did weather and other reports while parked in front of a hospital in Koronadal City in the province of South Cotabato last 30 April 2012. Koronadal City, South Cotabato is approximately 1027 kilometers south of Manila.

Rommel Palma, driver of Bombo Radyo Koronadal, was at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital at around 5:00 a.m. after accompanying one of the station's reporters, Rey Legario, to the hospital. Legario entered the hospital to get a report while Palma stayed in the car.

Herminio Legaspi, station manager of Bombo Radyo Koronadal, told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) that while Legario was inside the hospital, two gunmen shot Palma, who died of gunshot wounds in the back and the neck. The security guard of the hospital responded to the scene but the suspects were able to flee. Palma was declared dead by the hospital's doctors.

Aside from being the station's driver, Palma, who had worked in their radio station for four years, sometimes did weather and area situation reports for the radio station.

Legaspi told CMFR that the police invited to their office two possible suspects, an alias "Bobot" and "Hagibis" for questioning. But the two were later released after police failed to establish a motive for the two to kill Palma.

Bobot and Hagibis were allegedly in a dispute with Palma's brother over a quarrying business but Palma somehow got involved. They were allegedly at Palma's house last 22 April 2012 looking for the latter, who was not at home. Legaspi said he advised Palma to report the incident to the police.

According to Senior Inspector Joseph Madrid, spokesperson of Koronadal City police office, the police are still gathering information on the shooting incident.

A report from The Daily Tribune said a witness was able to identify the gunmen who shot Palma. ( But Madrid denied that they already have a witness who can identify the suspects. "The case is still under comprehensive investigation," Madrid said.
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