Gunned down
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - November 9, 2019 - 12:00am

I knew that name was familiar, Dindo Generoso. True enough, he was one of those few people whom I spent time with during my remaining days in Dumaguete City as a reporter. Our deployment was about to end that day, so I wanted to savor the remaining moments at the favorite snack place, the public market. Mr. Dindo was there, also sipping his cup of coffee with the infamous puto. We talked and teased around about his job as a radio commentator. That was it, the last time I ever saw him. This week, there were photos of him shot point blank inside the car that he was driving. The perpetrators left and fled. Good thing two out of three were captured the following day, but the question as to why he was killed remains a mystery.

The police are saying that it could possibly be because of his job as a radio commentator. He has been criticizing Dumaguete City mayor Ipe Remollo in his various programs. They are eyeing at the possibility that these are the ones who are angry at him, urging him to take his own life. But seriously, is a radio commentator worth killing? No one is a person worthy to kill. That is just beyond humane.

This is the second time a radio blocktimer has been gunned down. Edmund Sestoso, who was also a friend of mine and a known critic of those against the governor of Negros Oriental, suffered the same fate. It is truly a culture of impunity to those who are in the media. While those doing hard news are spared from opinions on the air, we are not spared from the fact that it is so easy for anybody to take us down. This is in clear violation of the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression.

If this is the case, then we should change the Constitution. We should also stop calling ourselves democratic and free, because honestly, there is no freedom at all. We are bound by our fear that it would be very easy for someone to take us down with the use of a gun. There is no more pity because we are part of the same field, it has become a new norm to see someone gunned to death. This shouldn't be the case.

Like the members of the Dumaguete Press Club, I am also one with them in condemning this act. It is a very clear pattern that those caught in the crossfire of politics are becoming bait to gain attention. Again, we do not deserve this kind of treatment. Radio blocktimers may be receiving money from certain individuals but their words on air are not worth a bullet. If you can't take harsh critiques, then improve yourself and do better as an official. People will always look at the government with different eyes plus they all have something to say. It's up to you how to respond to it.

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