Radio host Cornelio Pepino, also popularly known as Rex Cornelio, was gunned down by two men on motorcycles in Dumaguete City at 8:45pm on May 5. Cornelio was riding his motorcycle with his wife when two men on a separate motorcycle opened fire. Cornelio was dead on arrival at Siliman University Medical Centre. His wife survived, unharmed.
NUJP note Cornelio is the third journalist to be murdered in Dumaguete since 2018. Former chairman of NUJP chapter in Dumaguete City and anchor of Tug-anan on dyGB Power 91 radio station was shot in Dumaguete on April 30, 2018, and died the following day. Only six months ago, Dindo Generoso from dyEM Bai Radio saw a similar tragic end in a shooting on November 7, 2019, on his way home from work. Authorities arrested two men in Dindo's murder, one identified as an inactive police corporal. .
According to the NUJP, Cornelio's killing marks the 16th journalist killing since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, and the 186th since 1986.
NUJP said: “NUJP demands that authorities get to the bottom of the murder of Cornelio. It is alarming that Cornelio was the third journalist - all broadcasters - murdered in as many years in what has long been famed as the 'City of Gentle People'. The NUJP will continue to hold this government accountable for every death that remains unsolved.”
IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Only a few days after the World Press Freedom Day, a journalist, Cornelio Pepino is murdered. The IFJ condemns this heinous crime and urges the authorities to end the impunity of crimes against journalists and bring the murderers to justice.”