Paul Ouano Licuanan was still digesting the latest commentary of “Ramatak” anchor Gerry Ortega when he received a text message from his wife. (*Photo courtesy of Paul)
Just a few minutes after his radio program on RMN Puerto Princesa local affiliate, dwAR, Ortega died from a gunshot wound to the head while shopping for clothes in a second-hand store in Barangay San Pedro.
Licuanan rushed to the crime site. He managed to take photos of the slain man fondly called Doc Gerry by Palawan’s environmentalists. Doc Gerry’s body lay in a pool of blood, so fresh it was still bright red.
He was the second journalist in Palawan killed allegedly for their intense criticism of mining activities in this tourist paradise.
First, there was Dong
Doc Gerry was a good friend of the first victim, Fernando “Dong” Batul. Also among Doc Gerry’s other friends are journalists forced to leave Palawan after environmental reportage led to a barrage of death threats.