Muckraking Philippine Journalist Armando Pace Murdered

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A muckraking radio broadcaster was gunned down Tuesday in the southern Philippines as he was riding home on a motorcycle, the latest victim in a series of killings of journalists, police said.

Armando Pace, who often attacked corruption among politicians and the illegal drug trade in Digos city, 610 miles southeast of Manila, was shot in the back of the head and chest by an assailant on a motorcycle driven by another man, said police chief Cesar Cabuhat.

The assailants, who were tailing Pace after he left radio station DXDS, pulled alongside his motorcycle and fired at him on a main road in full view of many people, Cabuhat said. The two men escaped and no one has claimed responsibility.

Cabuhat said the killing could have been “a personal or work-related crime.”

Pace, 56, was the ninth journalist killed in the country this year and the 82nd since 1986, based on a count by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Acting station manager Ramon Sibya said he was unaware of any threats against Pace, but said the broadcaster had a series of libel cases filed against him by politicians, businessmen and others before he joined the station eight months ago. Sibya said he was told by Pace that most of them had been dismissed.

He said Pace was not an employee but bought air time from the station and got his own commercials.

On Tuesday, his last broadcast, Pace devoted his one-hour noontime show to the 57th anniversary of the founding of Digos and interviewed an elderly resident.

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