Radio host murderedPosted Apr 6 2011
Early in the morning March 24, in Malabon, a municipality of Manila in the Philippines, Maria Len Flores-Somera, radio host on DZME, was shot in the back of the head on her way to work. She is the second journalist to be murdered in The Philippines this year.
The day after her murder, President Benigno Aquino III assured the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry that it would be solved. “Given that, [and with] the cooperation of witnesses, I am confident that we will be able to bring this perpetrator to justice,” Mr. Aquino told reporters.
Police are looking into the reason behind her murder as well as the perpetrators. She reported on issues of public service and was known for bringing attention to officials’ shortcomings. Somera also helped listeners get in touch with officials according to the International Press Institute.
President Aquino doesn’t believe her murder was in direct relation to her work though. “My understanding is that [she was killed] not because she was [a member of the] media but primarily because of a land issue,” he said. “It appeared from yesterday’s information that she was up against a professional squatting syndicate.”
“We welcome the prompt attempts by Philippines’ police to identify the motive behind Somera’s murder and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. “Impunity is a plague in the Philippines and unless it is aggressively tackled by authorities at the highest levels, the killers of journalists will feel emboldened to strike again and again.”