Palawan Radio Anchor Killed, 2nd case under Aquino Admin


Dr. Gerry Ortega (left) and Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn (right) during a meeting

If proven to be work-related, the radio anchor in Palawan, who was shot point blank at a local market, will be the second case of media killings in the country under the Aquino administration and the 142nd journalist to be killed since democracy was restored in the country.

Here is a repost of an article by GMANews.tv

UPDATED 1:00 p.m. – Dr. Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega, a prominent civic leader and a former radio host of RGMA Network Inc., was shot and killed in Puerto Princesa City by a lone gunman on Monday morning.

Ortega, 47, was the main news anchor and commentator of Radyo Mo Nationwide’s (RMN)’s Palawan station dwAR at the time of the killing.

In a statement issued on Monday, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said, “Ortega is the 142nd journalist killed since 1986 when democracy was restored in the Philippine after Ferdinand Marcos was toppled.” “If the killing is proven to be work-related, he would be the second to be murdered under President Noynoy Aquino. The first was radio reporter Miguel Belen of Iriga, Camarines Sur,” the NUJP said.

James Viernes, radio anchor of RGMA, said the incident occurred at an “ukay-ukay” or used clothing store along the national highway in barangay San Pedro at around 9:30 a.m. Monday, shortly after the radio program of Ortega.

The suspect reportedly fled on foot but was soon caught by the police not far from the scene of the crime, Viernes said.

Viernes reported that the suspect, identified as Marvin Alcaraz of Taguig City in Metro Manila, claimed that he only intended to rob Ortega. A caliber-45 gun was recovered from the suspect, Viernes said.

Aside from his media work, Ortega is a well-known wildlife veterinarian and environmentalist popularly known as “Doc Gerry.” He was the director of the Crocodile Farming Institute, since renamed the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, from 1988 to 2000.

He served as board member in the Palawan provincial board from 2001 to 2004. He ran but lost in the 2004 gubernatorial race in the province. In the 2010 elections, he supported the failed gubernatorial bid of businessman Jose Alvarez.

Ortega was also active in church circles and was one of the local leaders of the Catholic group Couples for Christ in Palawan.

He has been involved in many advocacy campaigns including the anti-mining protests and the quest for an equitable share for Palawan from the Malampaya natural gas project.

Ortega was the project officer for Puerto Princesa of ABS-CBN Foundation’s community programs that included cave tours in Ugong Rock, firefly watching at Irawan river, as well as dolphin-watching and river tours in Palawan’s capital city.

The slain broadcaster is survived by his wife Patricia, also a veterinarian, four daughters and a son. — RSJ/VVP/YA, GMANews.TV

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