Impunity, Journalist killings, Press Freedom

Four charged for March 2011 murder of Manila broadcaster
POSTED BY || 9 May 2011

CMFR/PHILIPPINES— The local police of Malabon City filed murder charges against the four alleged killers of radio broadcaster Marlina Flores-Sumera at the city prosecutor’s office last 25 April 2011. Malabon City is part of the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).

In a 26 April 2011 press release, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced that the Malabon City police had filed charges against Carlos Alejandro, allegedly of Partisano-Armadong Operatiba ng Partidong Marxista-Leninista ng Pilipinas (Partisan Armed Operative of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines), an obscure hitherto unheard of group, and three other unidentified group members as suspects in the killing of Sumera based on accounts of a witness.

Roland Sibal, lawyer of Sumera’s family, told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility that the local police believed Alejandro and the other suspects were hired to kill Sumera. GMAnews Online said the group identified themselves to be a “reincarnation” of an infamous group in the ‘90s that broke away from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army .

Sumera, a radio broadcaster at dzME, was killed last 24 March 2011 near her house while on her way to her radio program. According to reports, Sumera had been commenting on a local land dispute over her radio program Arangkada 1530 (Accelerate 1530). One of these disputes involved the Silonian Homeowner’s Association (SHA)  of which she was president.

Prior to the killing, Sumera had received threats allegedly from the Kapitbahayan at Samahan sa Maysilo (Neighborhood Association in Maysilo), another homeowners’ group in Maysilo, Malabon. Sibal said the president of Kapitbahayan at Samahan sa Maysilo, Emma Nuqui, had also been charged before the prosecutor’s office in connection with the threats.

The Manila newspaper The Philippine Star reported last 26 April 2011 that the opposing group is contesting the ongoing projects led by SHA in Maysilo, Malabon City. The projects include road widening, canal upgrading and the construction of a multi-purpose hall.

Sumera is the third journalist and first woman killed in the line of duty under the Aquino administration. Three other killings were apparently not work-related.

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Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility