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Female radio anchor shot dead in Malabon ambush

March 24, 2011 12:10pm

(Updated 2:27 p.m.) A female radio anchor was shot dead in an ambush in Malabon City on Thursday while she was on her way to the radio station where she was working.

Len Flores Sumera was on her way to dzME studios where she was a program anchor when she was killed, radio dzBB's Allan Gatus said in his report. She was supposed to co-host a public service program between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

While dozens of radio broadcasters have been killed in the Philippines, few have been killed in Metro Manila and perhaps even fewer have been women.

According to a tweet by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, "8 women journos have been killed in the line of duty in the PHL since '86. If her case were work-related, Sumera would be the 9th."

The watchdog group has recorded 177 work-related killings of journalists and media workers in the Philippines since 1986.

Shot in the nape

A report on the radio dzME website said, "Tama ng bala sa batok na tumagos sa mata ang tumapos sa buhay ng 44-year-old na anchor ng dzME."

(A shot in the nape that pierced through an eye ended the life of the 44-year-old anchor of dzME.)

"Naniniwala ang mga kaanak ng broadcaster na problema sa lupa ang motibo sa krimen (The broadcaster's relatives believe land dispute was the motive behind the crime)," the dzME report said.

"Si Flores-Sumera na ang forte ay public service ay nagsilbi rin sa DZXL at DZAR bago naging bahagi ng dzME noon lamang Disyembre (Flores-Sumera's forte was public service and has served radio dzXL and dzAR before she became a part of dzME only in December)," dzME said.

Sumera, or Ate Len or Inday to her friends and co-workers, left behind husband John and three children, according to dzME.

The report cited the initial information reaching Northern Police District head Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao that Somera was shot in Maysilo in Malabon and was rushed to the Valenzuela General Hospital, where she was declared dead.

The police are still trying to get leads on the perpetrators and looking into the motive behind the ambush.

According to National Union of Journalists of the Philippines secretary general Rowena Paraan, Sumera is the 3rd media person killed in 2011 and the fourth under the Aquino administration that took the reins of government on June 30, 2010.

Last January 24, Gerardo "Gerry" Ortega of Palawan was killed after his radio program. On
February 1, police elements found the decomposing body of Abra journalist Cirilo Gallardo with 17 stab wounds.

On July 9, 2010, Bicol-based radio commentator Miguel Belen was shot and succumbed to his injuries on July 31.

The Philippines has been branded by international media support groups as among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, especially following the November 2009 massacre of 57 people, including 32 journalists, in Maguindanao province, a crime blamed on the powerful Ampatuan clan. – VVP/KBK/HS, GMA News
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