Bangkok, November 1, 2021 – Philippine authorities must conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the killing of journalist Orlando “Dondon” Dinoy, determine if the attack was related to journalism, and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On October 30, in Bansalan, a town in the southern province of Davao del Sur, an unidentified gunman forcibly entered Dinoy’s apartment and shot the journalist six times, according to news reports, which said Dinoy died at the scene.
Dinoy worked as a reporter for the local publication Newsline Philippines and as a news anchor for radio station Energy FM, according to a statement shared on Facebook by Newsline Philippines.
“Philippine authorities must thoroughly and independently investigate the killing of reporter Orlando Dinoy, determine if the attack was retaliation for Dinoy’s journalism, and bring all those involved swiftly to justice,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Until authorities show they are serious about ending impunity in the killing of journalists, these wanton attacks will continue.”
The Presidential Task Force for Media Security, a government body composed of law enforcement agencies including the National Police, said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that police investigators have “strong leads” on a suspect, without elaborating.
Police are investigating multiple possible motives for the attack, including Dinoy’s journalism, according to those news reports.
The task force statement said that Dinoy “was not a hard-hitting broadcaster or reporter” and that the journalist had “an altercation with another person” prior to the attack. It also said that people had urged Dinoy to run for vice-mayor of Bansalan.
National Police Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said he ordered an investigation into Dinoy’s killing, CNN Philippines reported. Police Major Peter Glenn Ipong, the town’s local police chief, told Agence France-Presse that police were looking into Dinoy’s journalism as a possible motive.
When CPJ called the National Police for comment, a representative put the call on hold and then the line dropped. CPJ emailed the Presidential Task Force for Media Security for comment, but did not immediately receive any reply.
The Philippines ranked seventh on CPJ’s 2021 Impunity Index, a measure of countries worldwide where journalists are killed and the perpetrators go free.