Joas Dignos

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Unidentified gunmen on two motorcycles shot Dignos, 49, in the head and chest while he was traveling on a national highway in Valencia City, police told local journalists.

Dignos hosted a weekday show called “Bombardier” on DXGT radio, in which he often criticized local officials, according to news reports. According to colleagues, over the past few years Dignos became well known for his highly critical on-air commentaries about local officials whom he deemed corrupt, reports said.

In the days following Dignos’ murder, local police said they were investigating the motive, and did not rule out that Dignos may have been targeted for his political commentary, reports said. They said the gunmen could have been hired to kill Dignos, reports said. A special task force was created to speed up the investigation, police said.

Joseph Deveza, the Mindanao safety coordinator of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, told media that the death appeared to be work-related as there were no known enemies in Dignos’ personal life, only those who objected to his program. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that Dignos had received death threats in the past in connection with his work. The union also said that Dignos had at times used recorded commentary to replace his live broadcasts so that potential assailants would not know his whereabouts. In June, a grenade exploded near the station while one of Dignos’ recorded commentaries was on air, according to local media reports.