Philippine journalist dies from stabbing; former police personnel tried over death of another

alerts-button-1.jpgAssailants stabbed to death a community journalist on 20 December 2006 in Batac, Ilocos Norte, a province north of Manila, according to a report from the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), a founding member of SEAPA.

Andres “Andy” Acosta, 46, news reporter for dzJC and the monthly community paper “Northern Light”, was on his way home from a Christmas party with reporters at the Northview Hotel in Laoag when he was stabbed by still unknown attackers.

Acosta managed to get on his motorcycle and head for the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac. Witnesses saw him speeding on the national highway before he collapsed from his motorcycle and died from his stab wounds.

A journalist for the past nine years, Acosta covered mostly police stories. The motive for his death is still unknown but Superintendent Bienvenido Rayco, Batac police director, said that revenge could be the reason.

Acosta was believed to have encouraged his son to agree to be a witness in a murder case, thus possibly incurring the anger of the suspects in that case.

Rayco added that the reporter was also known to confront rowdy drunkards and take them to the police.

Diomedes Lorenzo, dzJC station manager, said Acosta’s death might not have been related to his work since he did not report on sensitive issues.

Another reporter, Roger Mariano, who also worked for dzJC, was killed on 31 July 2004. His case is being heard at the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 59. The suspect, Apolonio Medrano, a former policeman, is being tried for murder. Mariano’s killing was believed to have been related to his work.

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