Palace condemns radioman’s slay
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2013 - 12:00am

BUTUAN CITY , Philippines   â€“ Officials yesterday condemned the killing of a radio broadcaster in Tandag City before the weekend.

“We condemn the killing of Michael Diaz Milo, a broadcaster from Prime Radio FM in Tandag City,” Press Secretary Herminio Coloma said.

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) regional director Abner Caga also issued a statement condemning what he described as the senseless killing of Milo.

Milo, of PRIME Radio FM station in Tandag City, was shot dead by three unidentified men on Saturday while riding his motorcycle in Purok Palmera, Barangay Mabua, Tandag City.

“We condemn the killing of broadcaster Michael Milo. We are calling on the PNP (Philippine National Police) to intensify the hunt for the assailants so they may be arrested, prosecuted and punished,” Caga said.

Caga said he was saddened with the murder of Milo.

“We have to seek justice for the cold blooded murder of our colleague in Surigao del Sur as I only pray that the real culprits and mastermind must be identified, prosecuted and put behind bars. May this impunity of killings of our journalists be put to an end,” he said.

Coloma said the PNP was tasked to investigate the murder of Milo and identify the gunmen.

“The PNP was directed to do everything it can in going after the perpetrators and bring (them) to the bars of justice and make the killers of Mr. Milo accountable,” Coloma said.  

Edgar Lozada Delibo, owner of Prime Broadcasting Network operating the Tandag City Prime FM station, called for an end to the senseless killing of media men and that the sad plight of provincial journalists be looked into.

“It is about time that Philippine government and other NGOs, private advocates for media freedom to also look after the welfare of provincial based newsmen who are under constant threat and intimidation,” Delibo lamented.

Delibo said that local newsmen are underpaid and sometimes not paid at all.

Delibo added that he was also a working newsman and experienced what local correspondents of national newspapers or news agencies go through.

Delibo said Milo was his personal friend and schoolmate in their college days at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) in Davao City. 

“He (Milo) was the editor-in-chief of our school paper at USEP at the same time a fellow advocate in promoting herbal medicine during our college days. We are also active in discussing socio-economic issues of our country then. Milo is a fighter,” he said.

Delibo said Milo was already a newman working for Peryodiko Mindanao before joining his firm.

“He was also into broadcasting as radio commentator,” he added.

A follow-up investigation by the police revealed Milo had been receiving death threats but he supposedly disregarded them.

However, his relatives said Milo had sought police assistance but was allegedly ignored.

List of murdered journalists

Milo is the tenth member of the media killed under the administration of President Aquino.

Police said a special task force group was formed to investigate the killing.

Based on the reports of the PNP - Task Force Usig dated Nov. 25, there were eight media practitioners killed since President Aquino assumed office in 2010. Task Force Usig was created in May 2006 following a series of media killings.

The death of radio broadcaster Joas Dignos in Bukidnon last Nov. 29 and Milo were not yet included in the report.

Dignos, who hosted a radio program in the province, was known for being critical of local officials and had received death threats in the past.

In the eight-page report, Task Force Usig identified the eight slain journalists as Virgilio Bico of Kalahi tabloid in Oriental Mindoro; Fernando Solijon, a host of the block-time radio program “Sandiganan” in Iligan; Miguelito Rueras, field correspondent of El Nuevo Bantay Radyo-Cebu City (dyDD, dyHH and dyZZ).

The fourth victim was Edgardo Adajar, a block-time radio host of 101.5 Hot FM hosting the daily radio program “Doc Egay and Company” in Laguna. The fifth was Julius Cauzo, a part-time radio announcer of dwJJ in Cabanatuan City, and the sixth was Jhonson Pascual, contributor of Northeastern Journal and editor-in-chief / columnist of the defunct Prime News, a local newspaper in Isabela.

The records showed Romeo Olea, a reporter / anchorman of dwEB-FM in Iriga City and Gerardo Ortega, a radio commentator of Radio Mo Nationwide (RMN) dwAR-Palawan in the list.

Records showed Bico was killed last Sept. 4, 2013, at Block 4, Barangay Pachoca, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro by two unidentified suspects on a motorcycle. The case is still under investigation.

“However, there is a possibility of the involvement of politicians, prominent persons and high ranking government officials which were either subjected to criticism and commentaries by the victim,” the report said.

Solijon was killed last Aug. 29 in Purok 1, Buru-un, Iligan City by two unidentified suspects on a motorcycle.

The case remains under investigation but probers are looking into the killing as possible work-related since Solijon was known as a hard-hitting radio commentator targeting local politicians.

Reuras was killed last June 2 inside his grocery store located at Market Site, Pio V Corpus, Barangay Poblacion, Masbate. A certain Rogelio de la Cruz was the alleged gunman, who was also killed last June 18.

Another suspect in Reuras’ murder was identified as Julian Manango, who was also killed last June 19.

Task Force Usig said Adajar was killed in front of the Little Coliseum Cockpit, Barangay Concepcion, San Pablo City, Laguna by two gunmen from Tiaong, Quezon.

Police said charges of murder were filed against the gunmen before the San Pablo City Prosecutor’s Office.

Police said motive could be work-related as Adajar was a hard-hitting commentator, particularly against illegal gambling in San Pablo City, Laguna and at the same time, he was an incumbent re-electionist councilor in San Pablo City.

The fifth victim, Cauzo, was killed in Barangay Aduas Centro, Cabanatuan City by a lone gunman riding on a motorcycle.  â€“Delon Porcalla, Cecille Suerte Felipe


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