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Denied protection in 2008, radio blocktimer shot dead in Philippines

A journalist whose request for a writ of amparo in 2008 was denied by the Court of the Appeals was shot dead in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, on 9 June 2014.

The writ of amparo is "a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity." It was adopted by the Supreme Court in response to the spate of media and extrajudicial killings in 2008.

At around 12:30 p.m., Monday 9 June, an unidentified man shot radio blocktimer Nilo Baculo Sr. dead in Barangay (village) Lalud, Calapan City, Baculo's son, Daniel, confirmed to CMFR. A witness said the assailant was riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle, Daniel added. A third suspect acted as a lookout.

Calapan City is approximately 160 kilometers south of Metro Manila.

Baculo hosted the blocktime radio program Isumbong mo kay Ka-Nilo (Tell it to Nilo), which aired on dwIM 936 AM.

On 4 February 2008, Baculo sought court protection, through a writ of amparo, against his then alleged would-be killers.

Baculo found out on 16 December 2007 about a planned attempt on his life after the "would-be assassin" approached and informed him that a group of people wanted him dead due to his exposés over the media. He had been in hiding since then.

The hired hit-man was Baculo's acquaintance and backed out of the deal after knowing that it was the journalist he had been hired to kill.

The supposed hit-man, claimed Baculo, told him that he was hired to kill the journalist by local businessman Wilfredo Caballero, then Calapan City Administrator Antonio Perez, and then Councilor Allan Mañibo. The latter three allegedly got in touch with the hit-man through Maximo Evora, a retired provincial warden.

The Supreme Court granted Baculo's petition for temporary protection in March 2008, the continuation of which was denied by the Court of Appeals on 28 June 2008.

Unless his killing is proven to be not work-related, Baculo is the 143rd journalist/media worker killed in the line of duty in the Philippines since 1986, and the 25th killed since President Benigno Aquino III took office in June 2010.

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