Cosme Maestrado

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Four unidentified gunmen shot Maestrado in the head, cheek, and abdomen at around 10 a.m. in front of a shopping center in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental province on the southern island of Mindanao, according to news reports. He was declared dead upon arriving at a local hospital.

Maestrado anchored a daily morning news program known as “Ratsada” on Radio Mindanao Network’s local dxOC station. His program often tackled political issues, including allegations of local-level official corruption.

Before his death, Maestrado had criticized a local politician on the program over the purchase of construction equipment, according to a local press report that quoted his brother, Vincente Maestrado.

Provincial Police Director Superintendent Archival Macala did not speculate in press reports about a motive for the murder. Macala said he launched a special task force to expedite investigations into the killing, according to reports.

The Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, a press freedom advocacy group, reported that Maestrado survived an assassination attempt in 2011, where unknown assailants on motorcycles opened fire on his car. The journalist survived by firing back at his attackers with his own gun. The report did not indicate a possible motive for the attack.

Loreto Leo Ocampas, a locally elected national-level politician whom Maestrado had often criticized on his show, said the 2011 attack was staged with the intent of framing him, according to news reports. In a statement cited in local press reports, Ocampas claimed Maestrado had served as the spokesman for two former mayors against whom Ocampas had filed corruption charges.

Maestrado had served as a media consultant to incumbent Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, who launched his own investigation into the murder, according to news reports. It was not clear if Maestrado still served in that role at the time of his death.