CMFR/Philippines – A broadcaster was gunned down by an unidentified assassin on 27 November in Cagayan, a province more than 320km north of Manila.
According to a report of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Anthony Licyayo, 38, who is also a farmer, was on his way to tend to his rice field in Sitio Torkia, Barangay Cabaraoan, when an unknown assailant fired a shot at him, hitting him in the head. Licyayo’s infant child who was with him was unharmed.
Licyayo was chairperson of the local peasant alliance Kaguimingan, which supports the community radio Radyo Cagayano.
Radyo Cagayano was established in the town of Baggao in Cagayan by the political group Bayan Muna (Nation First). On 2 July, the radio station was burned down by eight armed men wearing ski masks and carrying gasoline. The radio station blamed members of the local military for the attack, a charge denied by the military.
Radyo Cagayano, a staunch advocate of peasant rights, had been critical of alleged corruption by the military.
A study conducted by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) revealed that a total of 60 media practitioners have been killed in the line of duty since 1986. Of this, 28 occurred during President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration. CMFR is still determining if Licyayo’s death is connected with his work as a community radio broadcaster.