May 6, 2020
The National Union of Journalists demands that authorities get to the bottom of the murder in Dumaguete City of Cornelio Pepino, more popularly known as Rex Cornelio, of dyMD Energy 93.7 FM, who was gunned down Tuesday night, May 5, 2020 as he headed home with his wife after hosting his regular program.
It is alarming that Cornelio was the third journalist – all broadcasters – murdered in as many years in what has long been famed as the “City of Gentle People.”
Edmund Sestoso, the former chairman of the NUJP chapter in Dumaguete, was shot on April 30, 2018, and died the next day. Unfortunately, the investigation into his death appears to have gone cold after police immediately made the ludicrous claim that he was killed by communist rebels.
In early November 2019, Dindo Generoso of dyEM Bai Radio was shot dead on his way to work. In this case, swift police action bagged three suspects, including two law enforcers. However, sources have confirmed there is more to Generoso’s murder than meets the eye.
It is very likely that Cornelio’s work led to his murder, which makes him the 16th journalist killed since President Rodrigo Duterte came into office in 2016 and the 186th since 1986.
Colleagues described him as a hard-hitting commentator even if his station, in a statement, said “you would never hear Rex use profanity nor flare up with emotion.”
The station said Cornelio “spent many years covering the issues that many reporters were fearful to do. His ultimate passion was for good governance and his advocacy was to help save the environment.”
We demand justice for Cornelio Pepino, aka Rex Cornelio, and will continue to hold this government accountable for every death that remains unsolved.