By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – A woman radio anchor was shot dead along Solonian street in Maysilo, Malabon at around 9:45 a.m, March 24.
Marlina “Len” Flores-Sumera, 45, of radio station dzME’s “Arangkada 1530,” was about to board a jeepney on her way to work when she was shot at by a lone gunman. Sumera was rushed to the Valenzuela General Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
Supt. Rio Gatacillo, Northern Police District public information chief, said the bullet entered Sumera’s nape and exited through her eye. Gatacillo said the gunman was a professional hired killer, noting that the assassin even picked up even the empty shell of an unknown pistol. Gatacillo said the gunman took Sumera’s mobile phone and handbag to make it appear as a robbery.
Sumera, a mother of three, also worked with stations dzXL and dzAR before dzME.
Sumera is the first female journalist slain under President Aquino. Four journalists have been killed since Aquino assumed office in June while the NUJP documents 143 journalists killed since the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. Of these cases, only six gunmen and no masterminds have been convicted.
In a report, Ed Sarto, Sumera’s co-anchor, said the possible motive for the killing is a land dispute. Sumera is the neighborhood association president.
In a statement, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-National Capital Region chapter also raised the angle of land dispute behind Sumera’s killing. The group said Sumera was vocal in her opposition to Malabon City’s proposed road-widening project.
In a separate statement, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan denounced the murder. “Marlina Flores-Sumera’s killing, done in public view and in broad daylight is yet another proof that the culture of impunity continues under President Noynoy Aquino. We strongly denounce this killing and demand that a thorough probe on her death be conducted so that justice may be served immediately.”
“This is an outrage, not just for those in the media but for women as well,” Ilagan added.
Ilagan said he slow conviction rate and the government inaction on media killings embolden those who would like to silence journalists. “It is imperative for the Aquino government to take concrete steps towards the protection of members of the press and show political will in resolving the cases of slain journalists,” Ilagan said.