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Malacañang Condemns Killing of Bikol Journalist

Another CAMSUR newsman killed in less than 1 year
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma

MANILA, Philippines (June 14 2011) - Malacañang condemned yesterday the "senseless" killing of a newsman in Camarines Sur.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma asked the police to immediately resolve the ambush of Romeo Olea, a radio commentator of DWEB-FM in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

"We deplore the senseless killing of radio commentator Romeo Olea who was fatally gunned down this morning by still unidentified persons in front of the Holy Child Learning Center in San Jose, Iriga City," said Coloma.

"We are seeking prompt action by local police authorities for the immediate apprehension of the perpetrators of this crime," he added.

Coloma described Olea as a journalist who has been receiving death threast as he exposed irregularities.

The International Press Institute said a total of 64 journalists have been killed in the Philippines in the last five years, including 32 murdered during the Maguindanao massacre of 2009.

Olea is the second local radio commentator to be killed in the province of Camarines Sur in less than a year.

Eleven months ago, another commentator, Miguel Belen, was shot dead at Barangay San Jose Pagaron in Nabua, Camarines Sur on July 9, 2010. This case is still unresolved to date.

Olea and Belen who both worked in the same radio station have been added to the increasing list of Bicol newsmen who were murdered: Ronaldo Julian of dzLB in Camarines Sur; Ruel Endrinal of dwRl, Jun Villanueva of dzGB, Dyunyor Joe of dzRC, all from Albay; and Nelson Nadera of Masbate.

President Aquino has a standing order to the PNP to immediately resolve the killings of journalists.

According to police reports, 39 journalists were killed during the nine-year administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Of these, only 28 cases have been resolved.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said the PNP come up with handbook containing safety measures for members of the media.

“The intention is to provide media practitioners with the basic knowledge and practical skills in securing themselves and their family, determining possible threats and improving communications among all concerned including local PNP units,” Bacalzo said.

According to reports, the killings of mediamen in Camarines Sur are related to local politics.

While local politicians use some mediamen, especially radio broadcasters, to provide public service to their constituents, some politicians indirectly use commentators to attack their rivals.

Champion Mavericks Back in Dallas

One day after closing out the finals of the 2010-2011 season, NBA champion Dallas Mavericks arrived in Dallas at nootime yesterday.

On Sunday night, the Mavs beat the Miami Heat on the road, 105-95, to win the championship, 4-2.

The plane passed under a water cannon welcome at the airport.

Club owner Mark Cuban carried the championship trophy as he walked off the plane. Dirk Nowitzki, considered the main hero of the championship campaign, followed him carrying his MVP trophy.

Cuban and Nowitzki walked towards the cheering fans to allow them to get a close look at the trophies from beyond a high fence that surround the airport.

It is the first NBA championship title for the Mavs in its 31-year franchise history. The city is still planning a parade although Mayor Dwaine Caraway said the city is in a budget crunch. Cuban repeated yesterday that he will personally pay for the celebration. The details of the parade shall be announced later.

Police reported no damage or injuries as the fans crowded into downtown Dallas on Sunday night but it reported 14 arrests for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

The city celebrates its most recent pro championship since the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999.