Cebu broadcaster survives assassination attempt

9 June 2004
Source: Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Quezon City9 June 2004

A radio commentator in Cebu City (approximately 587 kilometres south of Manila) survived an attempt on his life on the afternoon of 8 June 2004, as he was about to leave the station where he works.

Cirse “Choy” Torralba, host of the commentary programme “Interaction”, on DYAR Angel Radio, suffered three gunshot wounds in his left arm and shoulder. The “Sun.Star Cebu” newspaper reported that Torralba had just boarded his car at about 1:45 p.m. (local time) when the gunman appeared in front of the vehicle and fired a series of shots. Torralba was able to fire back from inside the car but missed his assailant.

Torralba has been declared out of danger, but remains confined in the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital.

Reports said the attacker fled in a white car. In an interview with “Sun.Star Cebu”, Torralba described him as “young, about 5’2″ and in his mid-20s.”

“Sun.Star Cebu” reported that aside from looking into the possibility that Torralba might have offended certain subjects of his commentaries, the police are considering several other angles, among them his active involvement in politics during the last elections. Torralba was the Cebu media coordinator of vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda.

However, Torralba told “Sun.Star Cebu” that he suspects the attack was provoked by his commentaries and not by politics.

On 9 June, the Manila-based newspaper “Philippine Star” reported that Torralba “was suspected to have been the source of the expos?” against Legarda’s rival, Senator Noli de Castro. In March, De Castro’s ex-wife, Pacita Torralba, accused the senator of being an irresponsible father to their child.

The “Philippine Star” reported that Pacita Torralba is a relative of the radio journalist.

For further information, contact Melinda Quintos de Jesus or Sweet Mary J. Cawicaan, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), 2nd Floor, Ateneo Professional Schools, 130 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village,
Makati City, 1227, Philippines, tel: +63 2 894 1314/1326, fax: +63 2 840 0889, e-mail:cmfr@surfshop.net.ph, Internet: http://www.cmfr.com.ph

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of CMFR. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit CMFR.

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