New York, May 31, 2001 — CPJ condemns the recent murder of radio commentator Candelario Cayona in Zamboanga City.
At about six a.m. on May 30, three unidentified men ambushed Cayona as he left home on his motorcycle to host a morning program at radio station DXLL. He died on the spot from four gunshot wounds, including two to the face. The assailants, all identified by the police as young males, fled the scene and have not yet been found, according to a local journalist who had spoken with the police.
CPJ believes that Cayona may well have been killed in response to his journalistic work. Cayona was an outspoken commentator who often criticized local politicians, the military, and Muslim separatist guerrillas. The journalist had recently received several death threats, including an on-air threat that was phoned in by Abu Sabaya, spokesman for the Islamic guerrilla group Abu Sayyaf. Although Cayona had reported the threats to station officials, he was not escorted by a bodyguard on the morning of the attack.