Fernando ‘Dong’ Batul:Broadcaster killed by gunmen
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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