Case   |   Philippines

PHILIPPINES

DECEMBER 1, 2005
Posted: December 7, 2005

George Benaojan, DYBB and Bantay Balita

KILLED—UNCONFIRMED

An unidentified gunman killed radio and newspaper journalist Benaojan in the central city of Cebu before fleeing in a taxi. Benaojan, 27, died at a local hospital shortly afterward, according to international news reports.

Benaojan was talking to a man in a market when the gunman approached and shot the journalist in the mouth, neck, and chest, according to news reports. A bystander was injured by a stray bullet. Witnesses reported seeing the gunman in the area several hours before the attack, according to news reports.

Local police told reporters that Benaojan had been receiving death threats; they are reviewing his commentaries and columns to investigate possible motives for his murder. Benaojan had reported on alleged corruption in the local customs bureau for Cebu Radio DYBB and the newspaper Bantay Balita, a publication distributed among customs personnel. Benaojan was known for reporting aggressively on official corruption.

Benaojan survived an attack in August 2004 when three men ambushed him and two colleagues. Benaojan told reporters that he returned fire. He said that anger over his radio commentaries or a personal grudge may have been motives for the attack.

The journalist also ran several businesses, according to news reports.
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