Du30 urged: Probe slay of former radio reporter; grudge, love affair motives

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2017

MAGSINGAL, Ilocos Sur – An environmental groups urged President Duterte to investigate the killing of a university professor and former radio reporter was gunned down by unidentified motorcycle-riding men here night of Jan. 6 even as police said they were eying grudge and lover affair as motives in the attack.
Police are still trying to identify motorcycle-riding gunmen who shot dead Mario Contaoi of the University of Northern Philippines and former reporter of the Church-owned dzNS radio station in Vigan City.
Chief Insp. Arcadio Viloria, Magsingal police chief, said Contaoi had just arrived at Verano’s Videoke Bar after visiting a fishpond when he was shot at around 10:30 p.m.
Contaoi died while being treated at the North Side Hospital in Bantay town.
Viloria said the victim was an active church lay worker and is not on the drug watchlist.
Investigators are eyeing a personal grudge and love angle as the possible motives for the attack.
Sen. Grace Poe condemned the killing and called for an investigation into the incident.
“I am calling on the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to get to the bottom of the killing of Mario Contaoi, a radio announcer and professor of 25 years at the University of Northern Philippines,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said in a statement. 
“Let us give justice to our partners in the media who report the truth,” she added.
This, as an environmental group condemned the murder of Contaoi whom they called an environmental advocate.
“We grieve with his family, friends and colleagues. We are appalled that despite the promise of change by this administration, murder with impunity remains to be a trend. While the assailant’s motive(s) remains unclear, the authorities must not discount his previous stint as radio commentator and his sharp commentaries on environmental issues as possible reasons for his murder,” said the Ilocos Network for the Environment also known as Defend Ilocos.
“During his stint as announcer of DZNS Radyo Totoo Vigan City,  Contaoi tackled burning issues regarding the environment. His program regularly echoed our statements and analysis regarding ecological concerns and the involvement of local officials for the destruction of the environment. He is fast and sharp voicing his disapproval, sometimes even naming of authorities, for their failure to curb and address transgressions committed against nature.”
“The last time that Mr. Contaoi invited us to speak in June 2016, he asked straight forward questions pertaining to the eucalyptus plantation in Sta. Cruz and mining in Quirino respectively. Probing deeper, he asked about the relationship between the heavy military deployment in the area and the possible involvement of local officials on the said issues. While he kept his objectivity on the matter, we believed that like us, he was convinced that militarization and destructive projects always come hand-in-hand, with the approval of local officials,”  said  the group’s regional coordinator Sherwin De Vera,
“With his death, DEFEND Ilocos and the people lost another ally against the plunderers of natural resources. But we will not be cowed nor silenced. We demand swift justice to the murder of Mr. Cantaoi. We call on the Duterte administration to put an end to these senseless killings.” De Vera added.


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