Radio commentator succumbs to gunshot wounds a day after ambush

Manila: A Philippine journalist who was shot in an ambush by unknown gunmen on Monday has died.

Edmund Sestoso, a commentator for a Dumaguete-based radio station died at 2pm on Tuesday, a day after he was attacked by two men riding pillion on a motorcycle in Daro, Dumaguete City.

Police have launched a manhunt for the perpetrators.

Sentoso was riding a three-wheeled taxi, known as a “tricycle”, when he was ambushed by the gunmen.

The radio commentator, who hosted his own programme — Tug-anan, aired over dyGB 91.7FM — had been receiving threats from unknown callers before he was ambushed, his wife Lourdes Sentoso was quoted as saying in reports.

The broadcaster had been an active advocate of press freedom and was a member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and had served chairperson of its Dumaguete City chapter.

Reports quoted Dumaguete police chief Supt. Jonathan Pineda as saying that the attack may have been related to his work as a broadcaster.

“I will do my best to bring justice to the victim,” the law enforcement official reportedly told Lourdes Sestoso, the wife of the victim.

The watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently reported that the Philippines’ ranking in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index fell from 127 to 133 among 180 countries.

Aside from Sestoso, there had been a number of killings and murder attempts targeting journalists and personalities from the broadcast industry.

Just last Friday — two days before the assassination of Sestoso, Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Egco had said that the current administration under President Rodrigo Duterte is taking efforts to resolve media killings and ensure justice for the victims.

“This Task Force is not spineless creation … The mission resulted in five more convictions in addition to three that had been previously reported, bringing to eight the total number of convictions in cases of media worker killings all obtained within the years 2012 to 2016,” he said.

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