The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is encouraged to learn that a suspect allegedly involved in
the January 24 murder of broadcaster Gerado Ortega in the Philippines is in custody.
A key suspect in the murder, Rodolfo
Edrad Jr, alias Jun-Jun Bomar, turned himself in to authorities in Quezon
province about 10pm on February 5, according to news reports the following day.
Ortega, a prominent news anchor and
commentator with dwAR, was shot in the head at about 10am on January 24 as he
was shopping in the San Pedro district of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of
the country’s far-western island province
Gunman Marlon de Camata (aka Marvin
Alcaraz), who was arrested at the scene on January 24, and reportedly told
police that he and an accomplice had been promised 150,000 pesos (about 3370
USD) to murder the broadcaster “to stop his criticism of unnamed powerful
people”, according to local media reports.
Radio dzBB reported that Edrad has
provided police with information on who ordered Ortega's killing, and
investigators have begun the task of verifying the information.
“We are encouraged that there are
further signs that strong evidence in this case will lead to the successful
conviction of those involved in the cold-blooded murder of Gerado Ortega,” IFJ
Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ again urges a swift and
thorough investigation by authorities to bring the perpetrators of this crime
Ortega, a former gubernatorial
candidate, was a vocal critic of the province’s governor and had publicly
campaigned against mining operations in Palawan.
He also headed an ecotourism project in the province supported by the
charitable arm of broadcaster ABS-CBN.
The National Union of Journalists of
the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, reported that the killing may be
related to Ortega’s commentary on a gas company’s operations in the province.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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