Christopher Guarin

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Guarin, 41, a block-time radio broadcaster with Radyo Mo
Nationwide and publisher of small local newspaper Tatak News, was
shot and killed in the evening by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants
while driving home with his wife, Lyn Guarin, and 9-year-old daughter in
General Santos City on the southern island of Mindanao, according to local and international news

The assailants first fired on Guarin’s car at the city’s
Purok Sunrise and Naval Subdivision intersection, hitting him in the head and
his wife in the arm.

According to local press reports quoting his wife, Guarin
stopped and fled the vehicle on foot but was shot several times by two pursuing
gunmen. “I could no longer count the number of shots made by the suspects,”
Guarin’s wife told the Inquirer newspaper. “But I saw my
husband lying on the ground helpless, pleading before the suspects not to kill
him. His pleading fell on deaf ears.”

The day after the murder, police investigator Gerald Mark
Oliver Jubelag told local reporters that Guarin was hit six times by bullets
fired from a .45 caliber handgun. Jubelag said the two assailants were unmasked
and fled the scene of the crime on a white Honda XRM motorcycle. The Associated
Press quoted Fred Solinap, Guarin’s co-anchor in their program on herbal
medicine, as saying that Guarin was puzzled by a text message he got during
their radio broadcast on the day of his murder. The message, which Guarin read
on air, warned him in the local dialect not to leave the station or he would be

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and
Detection Group issued a statement on February 1 saying that it had filed
murder charges against suspected gunman Marvin Palabrica and launched a manhunt
for him, according to news reports. A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
report on the murder released later in the year identified Palabrica’s
accomplice as Eddie Labajo.

The NBI report said Guarin’s wife had positively identified
both suspects from closed-circuit footage of a separate murder they had
allegedly committed in July 2011.

The NBI report said that although a motive had not been
established, authorities had inferred from the evidence that the murder was
linked to Guarin’s newspaper Tatak. The report said that Guarin’s
newspaper and radio programs also frequently endorsed products made by AG
Global Pharma. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility said that a
rival company, selling similar products and promoting them over different local
media, could have been behind the murder.

Guarin had lost a 2010 election bid for city councilor, and
had been a combative radio announcer at another station before his electoral
race, news reports said. NBI said in its report that it was considering
enrolling Guarin’s wife in a witness protection program after she expressed
fears for her safety and neighbors in her community reported seeing
unidentified persons spying on her house late at night.