Riding-in-tandem gunmen kill radio announcer in Negros Oriental

NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines (UPDATED) – Motorcycle-riding gunmen killed a radio announcer in La Libertad town in Negros Oriental early Friday morning, December 28.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) alerted the media on the attack on radio announcer Gabriel "Kumander Aguila" Alburo.

Alburo, 50, was on a motorcycle ride home to Guihulngan City, after watching a cockfight, when he was shot by two men on another motorcycle on the national highway in Barangay North Poblacion around 3:05 am, the NUJP said.

Police probers here linked the killing to a cockfighting bet.

Senior Superintendent Raul Tacaca, director of Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, said Alburo figured in a verbal altercation with somebody over the bet.

“Hindi sila nagkaintindihan (there was a misunderstanding). The victim claimed he won, the other also thought he won. They both bet on the same cock,” Tacaca said. 

During the commotion, the suspect allegedly threatened the victim, saying, “Hindi mo ako kilala. Papatayin kita (You don’t know me. I will kill you).” 

“This is the primary and immediate motive we’re looking into,” Tacaca said. "It's a cock derby. They bet thousands in there."

Tacaca said police recovered more than 10 shells of caliber .45 caliber pistol and one shell of .9mm caliber at the crime scene. 

He said they were also looking at other angles as the motive of the incident.

NUJP  said Alburo is the second media practitioner to be killed in Negros Oriental this year after Edmund Sestoso in Dumaguete on April 30.

It added that according to the slain radio announcer’s colleagues, Alburo recently resumed broadcasting over 94.5 dyJL FM, a community station in Guihulgan.

He was also running as an independent candidate for councilor in Guihulngan.

Police are still looking into the motive for the killing. 

“If proven to be work-related, his death brings to 13 the number of journalists killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in mid-2016 and 186 since 1986,” the NUJP said. –  With reports from Marchel Espina/Rappler.com