Local journalists slain in 2 consecutive days

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Media practitioners Teodoro "Tio Dodoy" Escanilla (left) and veteran journalist Gregorio "Loloy" Ybanez (right) were shot dead in separate incidents in Sorsogon and Davao within a week.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Two unidentified gunmen on Wednesday night (August 19) shot dead radio DZMS anchor Teodoro Escanilla, also known as “Tio Dodoy”, at his home in Barangay Tagdon, Barcelona, Sorsogon.

Investigators said it happened around 11:45 p.m., when the 59-year-old radio broadcaster was entertaining a guest at home.

Based on the initial investigation, the assailants gunned him down with a .45 caliber pistol and an M16 rifle.

According to the Sorsogon Police Provincial Office, a task force had been formed to resolve the case.

Escanilla was also chairman of Anakpawis in the province, and a spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon.

Davao journalist shot several times

Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) president Gregorio “Loloy” Ybañez was gunned down evening of Tuesday (August 18).

Ybañez, according to police reports, was on his way home when he was shot several times by an unidentified gun man.

The 65-year-old veteran journalist was brought to Bishop Joseph Regan Memorial Hospital but died during the morning the next day.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reached out to Ybañez’s colleague Boy Conejos, vice president of DNPRC, who revealed that Ybañez has been receiving death threats since 2012.

While Ybañez wrote for the local newspaper Bagting sa Katilingban, he was also a member of the Board of Directors of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative.

Conejos believed that Ybañez’s involvement in the cooperative is connected to his killing.  But investigators have yet to confirm this.

According to NUJP, if proven that the killing was due to their work as media practitioners, Ybañez and Escanilla would be, respectively, the 27th and 28th journalist killed under the Aquino administration, and would bring to 168 the number of killed journalists since 1986.

CNN Philippines’ string correspondent Kirk Morilla contributed to this report.