Niel Jimena

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two gunmen shot Jimena, 42, five times while he was on a
motorcycle near his home in the Negros Island town of E.B. Magalona, according
to local and international news reports. He died before arriving at a local
hospital, news reports said.

Jimena broadcast political commentary on DYRI-RMN in
nearby Iloilo City, leasing airtime under a common practice known as block-timing.
He also hosted the twice-weekly radio program “Judge,” which was known for its criticisms
of the mayor and other local elected officials. The National Union of
Journalists of the Philippines
said Jimena appeared to have received threats from a politician he criticized
on air before his death.

On September 12, police filed a murder complaint against
two “professional assassins” in connection with the killing. Negros Occidental
Senior Superintendent Allan Guisihan declined to identify the two, saying they
were still being sought. Guisihan said witnesses had identified the assailants,
who were also on a motorcycle. “They were not wearing masks when the gunmen
shot the victim in a lighted area,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Several newspapers reported that the journalist was widely
believed to be an informant for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. “We are
not ruling out that he might have been killed because of his work as a
broadcaster, but our investigation points more to the drug angle,” Guisihan