Radio man killed in Davao

- Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe -

An unidentified gunman ambushed a hard-hitting radio commentator in Davao City yesterday morning.

Fernando “Ferdie” Lintuan, 50, a block-time broadcaster of Aksyon Radyo dxGO Davao, suffered gunshot wounds in the head and chest and died on the spot. DxGO is a sister station of dzRH.

Lintuan, also known as Batman, was driving his Volkswagen with fellow broadcasters Louie Senisa and Edgar Banzon on board when the gunman approached and shot him.

In an interview over dzRH, Senisa, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, said he played dead during the attack while Banzon escaped unharmed.

The three were on their way to eat when the attack took place around 10 a.m. Senisa and Banzon could not say who was behind it.

Senisa said Lintuan, who was also a consultant of the Philippine Sports Commission, was known to be a critic of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The victim was also noted to have criticized Compostela Gov. Arthur Uy and even Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas as well as some Bureau of Customs officials.

Malacañang was quick to condemn the killing even as it vowed that the perpetrators would be punished.

Duterte condemned the killing of Lintuan, who he described as a fair practicing media man.

“I condemn the killing. He was really a practicing media man. Although we do not know each other well, hhe was a good man,” Duterte said.

“The last thing we talked about inside his car was where we would have breakfast and everything happened so fast. I was seated beside him and I did not know what happened until I saw the barrel of the gun pointing at me after it hit Ferdie,” Senisa told The STAR.

Senisa said the incident happened at the junction along R. Castillo St., about 20 meters away from their radio station. As the car stopped at the corner on the way to Agdao Public Market, Senisa said the lone gunman appeared and shot the victim in the head.

The suspect then casually walked over to a waiting motorcycle and sped off northwards to Barangay Jerome.

Malacañang strongly condemned the slaying of Lintuan.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said President Arroyo has ordered the  Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. She also extends her sympathies to the victim’s family.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has ordered its Southeastern Mindanao Regional Office (SEMRO) to conduct a parallel investigation on the ambush.

NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services (DDROS) Reynaldo Esmeralda ordered SEMRO Regional Director Romulo Manapsal to probe the death of Lintuan.

“I received a text message from Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles and immediately I called Attorney Manapsal. In fact, I even called up all the NBI agents assigned at the SEMRO who are listed in my cellular phone and told them to get out of their homes and investigate the incident,” said Attorney Esmeralda.

Nograles reportedly sent Esmeralda this text message: “One of our own loyal media men named Ferdie Lintuan, aka Batman, was ambushed with two other media men driving his car. He is dead on the spot outside his radio station DxGO Davao.”

He also instructed them to coordinate with the PNP and to fast-track the investigation. “I expect SEMRO to submit a progress report within the day.”  

The authorities have yet to determine the facts, the gunmen, and the motive behind the attack.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza also appealed to well-meaning individuals to extend support to Lintuan’s four young children, who are now fully orphaned since their father was a widower.

“We condemn the murder of Davao radioman Ferdie Lintuan. The government will not allow this criminal act to go unpunished,” Dureza said in a statement.

Lintuan was a survivor of an NPA attack at the dxRA radio station many years ago that killed Leo Palo and five others.

Lintuan is the fifth journalist to be killed this year in the country. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said at least 90 media practitioners have been killed in the country since 1986.

In a statement released yesterday, the NUJP-Davao Chapter condemned the killing of Lintuan.

“The killing of Mr. Lintuan showed how barbaric this society has become and how dangerous it is for members of the Fourth Estate to do their duties in this part of the globe,” NUJP-Davao chairperson Carmelito Francisco said.

The unabated killings of journalists had alarmed the international community and foreign press watchdogs. United Nations Rapporteur Philip Alston tagged members of the military for the death of journalists and activists in the country.

President Arroyo has vowed to end unexplained killings in the country even as she maintained that such practice is not a policy of her government. – Evelyn Macairan, Edith Regalado, Cesar Ramirez, AP






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