Radio broadcaster killed

Posted on June 14, 2011

A RADIO broadcaster in the Philippines was shot dead while traveling to work on Monday in what press groups said was the fourth murder of a local journalist this year.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio R. Coloma connected the crime to the victim’s profession, noting that Romeo Olea was a "crusading journalist who exposed irregularities, for which he had been receiving threats to his life. We deplore the senseless killing," said Mr. Coloma in a statement on Monday. Olea, 49, who worked with local private radio station dwEB, was shot twice in the back while riding his motorcycle to work in the small city of Iriga before dawn, said local police spokesman Inspector Ayn Natuel.

Brillantes reappointed

PRESIDENT Benigno S. C. Aquino will be reappointing Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr., after having failed to get the approval of the Commission on Appointments (CA), said a Palace aide on Monday. "Brillantes will be reappointed," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail D. Valte, in a text message, attributing the confirmation to Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. Mr. Brillantes was bypassed by the CA’s committee on constitutional offices on June 8, over his alleged links to poll irregularities during the Arroyo administration. The next CA committee hearing will be held on Aug. 9.

P332-M crops damaged

KORONADAL CITY -- Flash floods triggered by sporadic heavy rains last week in Maguindanao province have damaged nearly P332 million agricultural crops and displaced 89,891 individuals, latest data from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) showed. Eight towns were affected by the floods, with Pagalungan suffering heavy agricultural damage pegged at P304 million, data posted at the ARMM Web site ( said. The floods also wreaked havoc in the municipalities of Sultan sa Barongis, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Montawal, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Sultan Mastura and Sultan Kudarat, it added. A total of 4,563 hectares of agricultural lands were destroyed by the floods, which affected 4,469 farmers.

US warship in Sulu Sea

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A US warship is now in the Sulu Sea for a joint exercise with the Philippine Navy. In a statement on the site, the US Navy said the USS Chung-Hoon departed the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for an independent deployment to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in the western Pacific on June 1. "During its four-and-a-half month deployment, Chung-Hoon will perform maritime interdiction operations and provide support for anti-insurgency operations in the Sulu Sea. The ship and its crew will also be working with the forward deployed naval forces conducting freedom of navigation operations," the statement said.

Appeal for IP evacuees

SURIGAO CITY -- The Bayan Muna party-list group, through Rep. Teodoro A. Casiño, issued an appeal on Friday to Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas on the city’s "moral obligation" to assist indigenous Mamanwa tribe evacuees now camping for more than a week on a private lot in Barangay Luna in this city. Mr. Casiño was in the city on Friday to visit Bayan Muna’s indigent program at the Caraga Regional Hospital and the launching of the mobile "Lamayan ng Bayan." Bayan Muna has earmarked P2 million from its pork barrel for the Caraga regional hospital to help assist indigent patients, he said. Asked to comment on reports that militant groups are behind the evacuation of the tribal folks, Mr. Casiño said "there is no denying the fact that these are legitimate residents and there was a legitimate military operation.