Philippines:Radio broadcaster and former newspaper columnist shot dead

New York, December 8, 2006—Two unidentified gunmen killed Ponciano Grande, 53, a former newspaper columnist and occasional co-host of a radio variety show, at his farm on Thursday in Cabantuan City, in Central Luzon. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating to determine whether the killing was related to Grande’s work as a journalist.

Two men shot Grande five times and chased his wife, Annie Luwag-Grande, but did not harm her, according to local online news outlet INQ7 and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Grande, former director of the Nueva Ecija Press Club, wrote columns for local weeklies The Recorder and Nueva Ecija Times until 2002, and had recently co-hosted a radio program with his wife on the station DWJJ.

Grande had retired from writing columns in order to manage the family farm, INQ7 reported.

Police were investigating the motive for the attack, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. CPJ research has confirmed that at least three journalists were killed as a result of their work there so far this year.