New York, July 5, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges justice in the killing of journalist Geruncio “Oscar” Mondejar, who was shot by unidentified gunmen in the city of Mandaue, in the central Philippine province of Cebu early Sunday.
Two unidentified gunmen aboard a motorcycle shot Mondejar, a commentator and technician at the local radio station DYRB, at 3 a.m. while he waited for a ride to work. He died at 7:30 a.m. the same day while undergoing medical treatment, according to the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and local media reports.
CPJ is investigating to determine whether the broadcaster was killed for his work. His sister, Jennelyn Mondejar, told CMFR that she was not aware of any enemies that Mondejar had made through his commentary, and said she suspected the killing was linked to a family dispute with a village leader. But police said that they had not dismissed the possibility that the killing was work-related.
The broadcaster co-hosted a morning radio program and was a commentator on an agricultural broadcast.
The shooting comes just weeks after Philippine President Gloria Arroyo established a new task force to investigate the killings of journalists in the country. State prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco will head the task force, called the Presidential Task Force Against Media Harassment.
The Philippines has been one of the deadliest places for journalists in the world since CPJ began compiling statistics on work-related killings in 1992. CPJ is investigating the murders of four other journalists since the beginning of the year.
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit www.cpj.org.