Philippine state-run radio reporter killed by gunmen

UPDATED: 19:35, June 25, 2007

A reporter for a Philippine state-run radio station was killed, while another was wounded on Monday in an attack in the south of the country, according to reports. Vincent Sumalpong, a senior reporter of the government-owned Radyo ng Bayan (People's Radio) in the southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi, was attacked at about 8 a.m. local time by a group of gunmen in Bongao city, the Inquirer news network quoted local police as saying.

Sumalpong was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. Vema Antham, a co-worker of the reporter, was unharmed because Sumalpong covered her with his body, the report said.

Totong Borja, Sumalpong's nephew going along with the reporters aboard a motorcycle, was injured on the left leg, said Antham.

Chief Superintendent Joel Goltiao, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, police director, said that Sumalpong was apparently the target, the report added.

On behalf of the Philippine government, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita ordered authorities to step up the investigation on the killing of Sumalpong.

Sumalpong was the fourth Filipino journalist killed this year, and the 90th since 1986, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

Source: Xinhua


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