Slain journalist got death threat - NUJP

Posted at 01/06/2012 8:20 PM | Updated as of 01/07/2012 4:01 PM

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines - Journalist Christopher Guarin received a death threat an hour before he was killed Thursday night in General Santos City, a media group said Friday.

Freddie Solinap, a co-host of Guarin in his radio program, told the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) that the slain media worker received a text message carrying the threat on January 5.

Guarin read the threat on air, which went, "Wag kang lumabas [ng istasyon], papatayin kita (Do not get out of the station, I will kill you)."

Unidentified gunmen riding a white Honda XRM motorcycle with plate number ending in numbers 4 and 1 ambushed Guarin along Conel Road.

Guarin and his wife and daughter were riding their Kia Pride sedan when the gunmen fired at them, according to NUJP-General Santos chairperson Edwin Espejo.

Guarin sustained 5 gunshot wounds in different parts of the body and one in the head.

He was rushed to the General Santos City Hospital but doctors declared him dead on arrival.

His wife was grazed in the arm by a bullet while his daughter was unharmed.

Guarin was former manager of the defunct dxBB RGMA Super Radyo General Santos.

He was also former commentator at dyWB Bombo Radyo General Santos.

He is the first media practitioner killed in 2012 and the 10th under President Benigno Aquino III who assumed office in July 2010, according to Rowena Paraan, executive coordinator of the NUJP-International Federation of Journalists Media Safety Office.

Guarin's death brought to 150 the number of journalists killed in the Philippines since 1986, Paraan added.

Impunity

Guarin's killing is a stark reminder of the culture of impunity in the country, NUJP chairperson Nestor P. Burgos Jr. said in a statement.

"He joins the long list of murdered Filipino journalists... all of whom continue to cry out for genuine justice," he added.

He said that in 10 cases of journalists' killings that have seen convictions, only those who pulled the trigger have been punished.

"No one who ever gave the order to kill a journalist has been convicted," Burgos added.

"His death is a stark reminder that impunity in the country remains very much alive, fostered by the glaring lack of inaction, even apathy, by government, belying President Benigno Aquino III's pledge of justice and respect for rights in his quest for 'tuwid na daan,'" he said.

"We demand that Mr. Aquino unequivocally order all concerned agencies not just to arrest and ensure the conviction of Guarin's killers, including the masterminds, but also to - on pain of sanctions - end all extra-judicial killings and ensure justice to the victims," he added.