PIA Cebu City (2 December 2005) -- An officer of the Malacañang sa Sugbo died of gunshot wounds last night at the Chong Hua Hospital. Twenty-seven years old George Benaojan was shot while he was tending his store in the South Central Market located in Lawaan Tres, Talisay City. Benaojan, radio and print journalist, was elected as treasurer of the Malacañang sa Sugbo Press Corps was sworned into office by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last year.
In a radio interview, Jammy Llanos, a taxi driver and also a broadcaster of the same station who witnessed the incident said that he and his friend (George) were sitting when an unidentified man poked a .45 cal. pistol at the victim. "When the man pulled the trigger, the handgun didn't work. So I thought the gunman was just a friend of the victim who was just joking at us. But when George stood up and started wrestling the gunman, I ran away for safety. Then, I heard bursts of gunfire. The victim, then, ran to where I was but he was again shot so he fell to the ground," narrated Llanos. The victim was brought by Llanos and his son to the hospital but did not survive.
Before his death, Benaojan was working as a radio and print journalist. For many years, he had been working in DYDD Bantay Radyo as reporter and commentator and was also able to work as opinion columnist and news reporter of many print media outfits in Cebu. Among his beats were Malacañang sa Sugbo, Bureau of Customs, Cebu City Hall, and other regional offices of national government agencies. The said broadcast and print journalist hails from Moalboal, a town southwest of Cebu. He is the second murdered journalist in Cebu under the Arroyo administration. The first was photojournalist Allan Dizon.
With his death, a dream of a good life and a romantic love affair also ended. The murdered victim was supposed to marry his girlfriend in August next year. (Roberto M. Cabardo/PIA AMO 7)
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