Hard-hitting radio commentator fatally shot in broad daylight in Cebu City

Published July 22, 2021, 2:17 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – A radio blocktime commentator here was gunned down shortly after he hosted his show and on the day of his wife’s birth anniversary, Thursday, July 22.

Police said no one was able to see who shot the victim, Rey Cortes, outside the station of dyRB in Barangay Mambaling around 9 a.m.

The victim was taken to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) where he was declared dead.

The attack happened while the victim was about to board his car on his way home. The daring attack also happened the birth anniversary of Cortes’ wife.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who also hosts a radio program at dyRB, said Cortes was about to board his car when he was shot.

The victim ran to the other side of the vehicle possibly to hide before he slumped to the ground. “He was about to open his car. He was on his way home for his wife’s birthday,” said Tumulak.

The victim’s wife is a news director of another radio station here.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has created a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to focus on the investigation of the killing.

Major Major Dindo Alaras, chief of the Mambaling Police Station, said initial investigation showed Cortes was hit in the back with the bullet exiting in the chest.

Alaras said the victim was with his close-in aide during the attack but didn’t see the gunman.

Responding police failed to find spent shells in the crime scene.

Alaras said part of the investigation will look into the possibility if the victim was shot by a sniper.

According to the close-in aide, Cortes had several enemies. “He reportedly had several enemies and we will check these details to possibly identify the assailants and the motive behind the crime,” said Alaras.

Alaras said that aside from personal grudges, investigators will check if the killing was job-related.

Tumulak described Cortes as a hard-hitting commentator. “His show is a commentary program. He will criticize if for him there were irregularities,” Tumulak said.

Cortes was convicted for libel in 2017 for implicating the husband of Cordova, Cebu Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho in the illegal drugs trade.