Fernando Solijon

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot Solijon while he was walking to his car after having dinner with a friend at around 10:30 p.m. in Bur-un village of Iligan City, in Lanao del Norte province of Northern Mindanao region, according to news reports. The news accounts said the assailants shot him several times at close range in the head, abdomen, and shoulder. Police investigators recovered a number of shells from a .45 caliber handgun from the scene, according to news reports.

Solijon, a radio commentator with DxLS Love Radio of Iligan City, was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital. During his regular radio program, Solijon frequently criticized local politicians. DxLS anchor Bobby Bariga told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, a local press freedom group, that Solijon had discussed a purchase by Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia of an expensive house and car during his last call-in broadcast on the day of his death. Bariga said an anonymous caller threatened Solijon, saying on air: "Your coffin's already made."

Solijon's previous reports included accusations that village-level officials were involved in the illegal drug trade. Local reports indicated Solijon had received several death threats by telephone and letter before his murder. Investigating Senior Police Officer Melvin Denore told CMFR in a phone interview on August 30 that Solijon's murder was related to his work and that the radio journalist was a prominent political commentator.

On October 28, the National Bureau of Investigation identified Iligan City police officer P. J. Capangpangan as a suspect in the case based on two witness accounts and placed him under house arrest while officers gathered evidence, according to local news reports. A second suspect, Edward Tucaran, was shot and killed under unclear circumstances two days after Solijon's murder, according to the reports.

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