Desidario Camangyan

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Camangyan was shot from behind at close range while hosting an amateur singing contest, according to local and international news reports. He died at the scene from a single shot to the head in front of an audience that included his wife and 6-year-old son, news reports said. Police said the gunman escaped on foot.

Camangyan was an anchor for local radio station Sunrise FM in the provincial capital, Mati City. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, a local press freedom group, told CPJ that Camangyan and his two co-hosts had received threats in connection with their commentaries on illegal logging in Mindanao’s Davao Oriental province. The trio had jointly reported on the issue for their "Hotline Patrol" program for four consecutive weeks before Camangyan’s murder, the center reported. Camangyan had also campaigned for the incumbent mayor of Mati, Michelle Rabat, in general elections the month before, according to local news reports.

On June 21, murder charges were filed against two suspects,police officer Dennis Jess Lumikid and Romeo Antoling, a local village official, according to the local Sun Star newspaper. Antoling had invited Camangyan to host the contest, local news reports said. Witnesses, including Camangyan’s wife, Ruth Matinong, helped police identify the suspects, according to news reports. Lumikid was indicted in a Mati regional court, but charges against Antoling were dropped after prosecutors failed to show sufficient evidence, according to the Sun Star. The newspaper reported in February 2012 that the case had been reassigned to another court.

On July 27, 2016, Lumikid was convicted of murder with treachery and sentenced to reclusion perpetua with a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, according to reports. He was also ordered to pay a combined 155,000 pesos (US$2,860) in fines for Camangyan’s death, moral damages, and exemplary damages. 

Charges against Antoling were dropped in 2012 after prosecutors failed to show sufficient evidence of his involvement in the murder, according to the Sun Star. Nonoy Espina, chairman of the National Union of Journalists, a local press group, told CPJ by email that his group believed the mastermind of the crime was not convicted and still at large.