Radio anchor shot dead in Kidapawan City

Radio host Eduardo “Ed” Dizon. <i>Photo: ABS-CBN News.</i>
Radio host Eduardo “Ed” Dizon. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

A radio show host was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen while he was on his way home in Kidapawan City, Cotabato last night.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) announced in a Facebook post today that Eduardo “Ed” Dizon, a radio anchor for 97.5 Brigada News FM, was on his way home to the town of Makilala when he was shot by the assailants on Kidapawan City’s Quezon Boulevard. The ambush occurred at around 10:35pm after Dizon finished hosting his radio show Tira Brigada.

Dizon managed to steer his car to the side of the road after he was shot, according to Kidapawan Police chief Lieutenant Colonel Maria Joyce Birrey. However, he died at the hospital from five gunshot wounds.

The suspects used a .45 caliber pistol to shoot Dizon and quickly fled the crime scene, reported Bombo Radyo.

Dizon had filed a blotter with the police after he received death threats a few days before the attack, Birrey said. The victim had suspicions as to who were sending the threats but Birrey refused to identify them.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said the crime is currently being investigated, reported Balita. 

The NUJP said that Dizon used to be the station manager of Brigada News FM but resigned when he ran and lost for Makilala councilor in May’s mid-term elections. The organization said that if Dizon’s killing was connected to his work as a radio anchor, he would be the 13th journalist killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016 and the 186th since 1986.

In 2017, Reporters Without Borders called the country the most dangerous place to work for media practitioners. This was followed by the International Federation of Journalists which called the country the most dangerous place for reporters in Southeast Asia in 2018.

Perhaps the most horrifying case of attacks on journalists was the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, where 58 people, including 38 journalists, were beheaded, raped, and mutilated by around 100 armed men. Andal Ampatuan Jr., a member of a powerful political clan, was arrested and detained for allegedly masterminding the massacre. His trial is still ongoing.

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