Rey Bancayrin

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Attacks on the Press   |   Philippines

Attacks on the Press 2001: Philippines

Despite a tumultuous political culture plagued by corruption, social unrest, poverty, and ethnic conflict, the Philippines steadfastly adheres to a tradition of free expression that makes it one of the most open societies in Asia. The constitution guarantees press freedom, and few government regulations control the print or broadcast media. The Philippine press proved stronger than ever in 2001.
March 26, 2002 12:03 PM ET

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Letters   |   Philippines

Radio journalist murdered

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is writing to condemn the recent murder of radio commentator Candelario Cayona in Zamboanga City. We urge you to ensure that the murder investigation is conducted in a thorough and impartial manner.

May 31, 2001 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Philippines

Candelario Cayona

At about 6 a.m. on May 30, three unidentified men ambushed Cayona, a radio commentator for the local station DXLL, as he left home on his motorcycle to host a morning broadcast. Cayona died on the spot from four gunshot wounds, including two to the face. The assailants, all identified as young males, fled the scene.

Cayona was an outspoken commentator who often criticized local politicians, the military, and Muslim separatist guerrillas. The journalist had recently received several death threats, including an on-air threat that was phoned in by Abu Sabaya, spokesman for the Islamic guerrilla group Abu Sayyaf. Although Cayona reported the threats to station officials, he was not escorted by a bodyguard on the morning of the attack.

Cayona is the second DXLL staffer to be murdered in recent years. In 1998, Rey Bancayrin, another outspoken commentator for the station, was actually killed on the air when two unidentified gunmen burst into the studio and shot him dead.

May 30, 2001 12:00 AM ET

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