New York, June 15, 2010—Mindanao
police must thoroughly pursue their investigation into Monday’s murder of broadcast journalist Desidario Camangyan and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
A gunman shot Desidario Camangyan from behind at close range
while the broadcaster was on stage hosting an amateur singing contest in Manay
town, Davao Oriental province, on the southern island of Mindanao,
at around 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to local and international news reports.
Camangyan died at the scene from a single shot to the head in front of the
contest’s audience, which included his wife and 6-year-old son, the reports
said. Police said the shooting took place in the dark and the gunman escaped on
Camangyan was an anchor for local radio station Sunrise FM
in the provincial capital, Mati City, according to local press freedom group the
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. Sunrise Manager Bobong
Alcantara told local journalists that Camangyan’s hard-hitting commentaries
against illegal logging operations were a possible motive in the attack. Camangyan
had also campaigned for the incumbent mayor of Mati, Michelle Rabat, in last
month’s general elections, according to local news reports.
Senior Police Superintendent Jorge Corpuz with the local
police is leading a special investigation task group to probe the killing,
local news reports said.
“Police must move quickly to apprehend the killers of Desidario
Camangyan and prosecute those responsible,” said Bob
Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.
“The authorities must ensure that no witnesses are intimidated from coming forward
or testifying, as has been the case in previous such murders in the Philippines.”
CPJ wrote a letter
on June 9 calling on President-elect Benigno Aquino to address the country’s
high rate of journalist murders, and thoroughly investigate the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre, a single
incident in which 32 journalists and media workers were killed. The Philippines placed third on CPJ’s 2010 Impunity
Index, a list of countries which consistently fail to address journalist
killings, after Iraq and Somalia.