NUJP: Radio commentator shot in Cebu

NUJP: Radio commentator shot in Cebu
DYRB blocktime commentator Renante “Rey” Cortes was shot in front of their radio station in Cebu on Thursday morning.
Screenshot from livestream on DYRB Radyo Pilipino Cebu Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:16 p.m.) — A radio commentator in a Cebu-based station was shot on Thursday morning after he finished his program, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines reported.

The journalists' union issued an alert on the shooting of DYRB blocktime commentator Renante “Rey” Cortes in front of their radio station.

According to its Facebook page, the DYRB station is located in Mambaling, Cebu City.

The NUJP Cebu Chapter in a separate statement said the shooting happened past 9:00 a.m. Cortes was rushed dead to the Cebu City Medical Center, but was declared dead on arrival at around 9:55 a.m.

Citing an interview of Cebu Daily News with witnesses, the journalists’ group said unidentified assailants aboard a motorcycle shot Cortes.

The NUJP Cebu condemned the killing of Cortes, who they said survived an earlier attack on his life.

“Attacks against journalists and media workers continue to rise and are being normalized simply for fulfilling our duties as watchdogs of society,” they added.

“We further condemn the culture of impunity that emboldens these perpetrators to commit these crimes,” they also said.

Data from the NUJP showed that there have been 223 incidents of attacks and threats against the members for the press from the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration on June 30, 2016 to April 30, 2021.

The journalists’ union recorded 19 killings, eight slay attempts and 52 incidents of intimidation.

The Philippines ranks 136th out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, indicating the “difficult situation” of press freedom in the country. This is the third consecutive year that the country slipped in the list of Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.

In a July report, RSF also listed Duterte among world leaders who were noted for being “press freedom predators” for "[trampling] on press freedom by creating a censorship apparatus, jailing journalists arbitrarily or inciting violence against them." — Kristine Joy Patag



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