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Second radio anchor killed in a week in the Philippines

UPDATE from CMFR: Estranged wife and police officer accused of murdering radio broadcaster (13 December 2013)

Another radio anchor was killed for his work on 6 December 2013 in Tandag City, capital of Surigao del Sur province, three weeks after a presidential spokesperson said that "there is no more impunity" in the Philippines. The killing occurred a week after blocktimer Joash Dignos was killed in Bukidnon province on 29 November 2013.

Tandag City, in the Mindanao island group, is some 1,200 kilometers south of Manila.

Surigao del Sur provincial police spokesperson SPO1 Ranilo de Malong told CMFR on 9 December 2013 that radio anchor Michael Diaz Melo (also known as Mike Milo) was shot last Friday 6 December at around 4:30 p.m. in Barangay (village) Mabua, Tandag City. The killing is likely to be work-related.

Melo was on a motorbike traveling along Navalez St. when a gunman riding in-tandem with two accomplices shot Melo close range.

With a gunshot wound behind his left ear, Melo was brought to a nearby hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

Melo was the national supervisor for Prime FM 99.1 in Tandag City and hosted radio programs.

Melo was also the managing editor for Prime Balita newspaper, according to a report from ABS-CBN News.

There were no bullet cases found at the crime scene according to de Malong. Melo had received death threats before, but the police are still unsure of the motive behind the killing, de Malong added.

A report from the Philippine Star said Melo was a personal friend of Prime Broadcasting Network owner Edgar Lozada Delibo.

"He (Melo) was the editor-in-chief of our school paper at (University of Southeastern Philippines) and at the same time a fellow advocate in promoting herbal medicine during our college days. We were also active in discussing socio-economic issues of our country then. (Melo) is a fighter," the Star quoted Delibo as saying.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" B. Coloma Jr. said in an interview aired on Radyo ng Bayan that the Aquino administration is condemning the killing.

"The Surigao del Sur police are now pursuing the suspects, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had also formed a special investigation task group for it," Coloma said.

This was after Coloma said in a press briefing on 22 November that "Maybe, it's justified to say that there is no more impunity."

If proven work-related, the killing of Melo will make him the 21st journalist/media worker killed in the line of duty under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, and the 10th killed this year.

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