Fernando ‘Dong’ Batul:Broadcaster killed by gunmen

May 22, 2006 at 8:43 am 4 comments

I have been writing about this topic so much on my blog; now one of the victims is someone I know – Dong Batul was killed reports say at around six in the morning by motorcycle ridding gunmen in Puerto Princesa City.


I heard about it when my mother woke me up to watch NBN4 the government TV stations morning show and Mayor Hagedorn was on the air talking about the 'incident'. 'incident' – what a word to use – is that the best word to use when a friend from your college days is killed- perhaps I should say – when this senseless brutal vicious killing took place in the perhaps most peaceful city in the Philippines.

Dong was a hard hitting radio commentator, he took them all on, the Military, the political groups, the political leaders, the corrupt members of the business community, the people who could not speak out took dong to heart for his ability to say things others would not say- Dong was honest to a centavo when we were all on the PSU student council. He went into various things- politics among them. He later joined GMA SuperRadio and the Palawan Broadcasting Corporations DYPR. He was very popular – well liked.

After college I left Palawan and moved on to Manila's world of Broadcasting. I only met Dong a few times of that public events; he was deeply into his radio show.

I do not want to speculate as to suspects or motives- a week or so ago i wrote about Dong in my blog- he was the subject of a media alert issued by a group that has been monitoring the violence and threats versus Writers in print and as well as radio and television broadcasters. He worked for DYPR; a AM radio station in Palawan. I worked there also years ago – we often got threats- but this is the first time anyone ever carried one of them out.
I want to extend my condolences to his family… I want to say so many things about what I really feel but cant find the words right now. There are a lot of puzzling questions as to who could do such a crime. It makes me wonder about how safe my old hometown is;

It makes me wonder who would be seen as responsible. Who could have done this – I do remember I write the last time in my blog how unsettling it was to see the reports on Mr. Batul; Dong, the need to look into the political as well as other possible groups who may be doing this.

I also wonder if this is localized? Or part of this nationwide wave of killings of those who speak out raise their voices and talk about the things some do not want heard. I can't but help to consider taking down my old post on Dong; out of respect.

And admission that the event that happened at his home where two live hand grenades found by him and his sister are obviously linked to this incident. Dong is in my prayers and so is his family. He was a friend in college albeit later in life our views often were on different levels or points of view I always respected his right to speak about what his views were. Even though we were not so close in the last few years, I will miss him as I am sure most of my fellow palaweno’s will too. The one thing you could count on with Dong was he would speak out agianst things that others would not.

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Entry filed under: asia, border security, Filipino, filipino-american, free speech, freedom of speech, news, News and politics, News Of China, Palawan, philippines, protests, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., terrorism, Uncategorized, war, war on terror.

Philippine Death Squads: Government & Rebels both point fingers

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gthardrict  |  May 23, 2006 at 4:56 am

    I was born in Puerto Princesa but living here in California. Dong and I go way back… (high school). He was 1 year ahead of me but we because really good friends. Although I heard about his political career, I still remember him as a sweet and caring friend. I came home 2 years ago for 5 days during election and was very happy that he found time on his busy schedule to visit me. We even had a chance to go out with our friends. He even went to the Airport to see me leave. I am sure you are not interested to hear me but I am grieving right now. I have lost a very dear friend and words cannot express my sorrow. Life is too short and it makes me realize more that it is very important to do something that matters. Dong fought for what he believed in and that is something that I admired about him. I pray that he is somewhere peaceful and to see his bright smile once more.

    Reply
  • 2. bratsabrina  |  May 23, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    I met Dong when I was in highschool though he was 12 years of my senior we get along pretty smoothly. He always stand for what he believes and fight for it no matter what and that’s the reason why I admire him a lot.
    Few months back while we’re having dinner I asked him, what if something happen, are you ready? then he looked at me straight in the eyes and said yes.
    Wherever he is right now, I know he’s pretty happy and at peace. One thing is certain though a lot of people will surely miss him and that includes me.

    Reply
  • […] In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Assassinations Destroying the Future of Filipino Journalists (under a different title, it will also be my Inquirer column tomorrow, that’s how strongly I feel about the issue). Dan Mariano devotes his column to the same death that inspired mine, and explains why everyone should care. IKn his column, he refers to a blogger who knew the slain journalist. […]

    Reply
  • 4. mikeinmanila  |  May 25, 2006 at 2:07 am

    []…President Arroyo is worried about the rising incidence of journalists being killed and wants the killings stopped, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said on Wednesday. Ermita was reacting to the report of Amnesty International on Tuesday that the killings of journalists in the country rose sharply in 2005.
    The Manila Times (5/25/2006 1:50:35 AM)….[]

    Reply

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