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Radio host Cornelio Pepino, also popularly known as Rex Cornelio, was gunned down by two men on motorcycles in Dumaguete City at 8:45pm on May 5.

Cornelio Pepino, 48, was shot dead by two unidentified men after hosting his regular radio program on dyMD Energy 93.7 FM. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemn the murder and urge authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing.

Cornelio was riding his motorcycle with his wife when two men on a separate motorcycle opened fire. Cornelio was dead on arrival at Siliman University Medical Centre. His wife survived, unharmed.

NUJP note Cornelio is the third journalist to be murdered in Dumaguete since 2018. Former chairman of NUJP chapter in Dumaguete City and anchor of Tug-anan on dyGB Power 91 radio station was shot in Dumaguete on April 30, 2018, and died the following day.

Only six months ago, Dindo Generoso from dyEM Bai Radio saw a similar tragic end in a shooting on November 7, 2019, on his way home from work. Authorities arrested two men in Dindo’s murder, one identified as an inactive police corporal. .

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Cornelio’s killing marks the 16th journalist killing since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, and the 188th since 1986.

NUJP said: “NUJP demands that authorities get to the bottom of the murder of Cornelio. It is alarming that Cornelio was the third journalist – all broadcasters – murdered in as many years in what has long been famed as the ‘City of Gentle People’. NUJP will continue to hold this government accountable for every death that remains unsolved.”

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Only days after World Press Freedom Day, a journalist, Cornelio Pepino is murdered. The IFJ condemns the murder of Cornelio Pepino and urges authorities in the Philippine’s to end the culture of impunity towards journalists and bring the murderers to justice.”