PNP orders probe into Cebu radio commentator's killing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said Friday he ordered the Cebu Provincial Police Office to conduct a probe into the killing of veteran radio commentator Reynante "Rey" Cortes.

“All angles will be investigated to determine the motive in the crime, especially if this was related to his profession. The local police will also investigate if there were threats to his life prior to the incident,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Eleazar appealed to the public to let the police know if they have any leads to help bring to justice those responsible for Cortes' death.

Cortes was shot dead after his show on Thursday morning. He was gunned down in front of DYRB-AM radio station along N. Bacalso Avenue in Mambaling, according to Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak. Tumulak was also at the radio station hosting his own show at the time of the shooting.

Cortes was immediately rush​ed to the Cebu City Medical Center but doctors declared him dead on arrival. The radio commentator sustained a gunshot wound in the chest.

Tumulak said riding-in-tandem assailants fired at Cortes while he was standing near his car outside the radio station.

The city councilor said Cortes was a hard-hitting commentator and believed that the killing was related to his work as a blocktimer.

Tumulak earlier called on the police to immediately launch an investigation as he branded this as a threat to press freedom.

Meanwhile, Police Major Dindo Juanito Alaras said the assailants were still unidentified.

Alaras said they are looking at different angles to the killing, including that it may have been the handiwork of enemies Cortez made due to his commentaries.

For its part, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security expressed dismay over the "brutal murder" of Cortes.

"Rest assured that we will get to the bottom of this heinous crime," task force executive director Usec. Joel Sy Egco said in a statement Thursday.

"We have already directed law enforcement agencies to use all available resources to bring to justice the perpetrators," he added.