TABUK, Kalinga -- Last week senior broadcaster Jose “Ka Pepe” Daguio asked newly elected officials here how they could protect the media, three days later, he was shot dead.

Daguio was shot dead in his house at Barangay Tuga, Tabuk City around 8 p.m. of July 3. He was 72 years old and considered the most senior of all media men in the area.

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To his listeners he was better known as “Pepe Daguio” for both Radyo Ng Bayan-Kalinga and the local Radyo Natin radio shows he handled.

Since his retirement as news anchor for the Radyo Natin in 2008, Daguio has kept active in the media, attending press conferences and keeping up with community developments.

Regino Wacas president of the Kalinga Media Club said the death of Daguio came as a surprise. “He was not hard hitting, he is a very active member of the local media club here.”

“We condemn in the strongest terms the killing of our most senior member, whatever is the reason behind his shooting, this bastardly act has no place in a civilized society,” Wacas said.

Daguio’s son, Joseph, said his father was just entering their home after feeding the family dog when he was shot by a lone gunman.

Daguio still had the strength and presence of mind to run into the house when he saw the gunman but was still hit on the right side of his body, he then fell on the kitchen floor.

Neighbors and relatives rushed Daguio to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital but he was declared dead on arrival.

Wacas said the Kalinga people has long buried its history for killing for revenge, it is unfortunate that this unfortunate incident. “It is a grave disrespect to Kalinga ethos,” Wacas added.

Joseph said this was the third attempt on the life of his father with the first when an irate subject of his commentaries tried to assault him at the Radyo ng Bayan offices and the second was sometime in 2004 when a fellow Tuga resident who was allegedly under the influence of drugs attacked him with a bolo. He sustained wounds in various parts of the body from the bolo attack.

There are no leads as to the motive for Daguio’s death as of press time.

Daguio retired two years ago, he worked as announcer for the Radyo ng Bayan from the late 70s to the mid-80s and wrote for the government-owned Kalinga Highland Leader in the 90s.

The killing happened almost two months after a hard-hitting radio reporter also in Tabuk City survived an assassination attempt against him last May 15. Radio reporter Jerome Tabanganay of dzRK survived a gunshot wound on his leg.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Kalinga has taken the case as a top priority.  

Police say the motive of the killing could be a land dispute or a water works project, the funds for which were realigned for no apparent reason. (Ma. Elena Catajan/Estanislao Albano/SB)