Maricel Vigo

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two unidentified gunmen shot radio journalists Maricel and George Vigo
near their home on the southern island of Mindanao. The married couple
were walking home from a public market when they were shot at around
5:15 p.m. by men on a motorcycle. They died on the way to the hospital.

George Vigo was a contributor to the Bangkok-based church news agency
Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) and was active in a local
nongovernmental organization that helped rehabilitate internally
displaced people. Maricel Vigo hosted a radio program on local station

The couple’s recent reporting and commentary was considered
uncontroversial, according to colleagues and local media groups. But
the two had long careers reporting on alleged government corruption and
right-wing militias. Offices of a tabloid newspaper founded by the
Vigos, The Headliner, were the target of an apparent arson attack in 2001.

The couple had previously been active in left-wing student groups and
in recent years had cultivated contacts within the militant Communist
rebel organization, the New People’s Army (NPA), as part of their
reporting, according to colleagues. In 2003, George Vigo reported on
the NPA for a BBC documentary titled “One Day of War,” according to
journalist Orlando Guzman, a friend who did reporting for the

Some of George Vigo’s colleagues believe that the couple’s murder may
be connected to a video CD he received from the NPA, which showed a
raid on a police station, according to Guzman. He told several
colleagues that he had been followed after receiving the video and had
expressed fear that military or local officials would target him.

German Doria, the central Mindanao police chief, told reporters that an
NPA member had been identified as one of the gunmen and that the
killing appeared to be in retaliation for George Vigo’s cooperation
with the Philippine military. The Philippine government announced a
heightened military campaign against the rebels in early June. An NPA
spokesman, however, denied involvement in the killing, according to
news reports.