Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cops identify Pace murder suspect

From Zamboanga Journal:

Police is holding a man who bragged killing a broadcaster in the southern Philippine city of Digos, officials said on Wednesday.

Officials said the man was held after his neighbors informed the police that he bragged about how he allegedly killed Armando Pace. The 51-year old Pace was gunned down around 1 p.m. in Digos City. Police said Pace was heading for home on a motorcycle when gunmen ambushed him.

The motive of the killing was unknown. “Police is investigating a man about the killing of the broadcaster. The man’s neighbors told the police that he bragged about how he allegedly killed Racman,” police officer Bimbo Labajo told the Zamboanga Journal by phone from Digos City.

Racman was Pace’s nickname. Other reports said a second man was also arrested after the motorcycle used in the killing of Pace was traced to him in Digos City.

Pave was the 3rd journalist killed since last month. Gunmen also shot and killed George Vigo, a correspondent for the Union of Catholic Asian News, and his wife, Macel Alave-Vigo, also a broadcaster, on June 19 in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato province.

Vigo was also the executive director of the non-government organization Peoples’ Kauyahan Foundation, Inc. which initiates community peace forums and dialogues in North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said at least 45 journalists have been murdered in the country since 2001. The Philippines now ranks second to Iraq on the list of deadliest countries for journalists in 2005, according to international media group Reporters without Borders.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday condemned the murder.

“We are saddened by the murder of Armando Pace and call for a thorough investigation into his killing…Philippine authorities must bring the murderers of journalists to justice, or the killings will continue,” said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director.

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