A Red-tagged teacher-cartoonist was shot dead in Sultan Kudarat

Nov 11, 2022 0 comments



Teacher and cartoonist Benharl Capote Kahil, popularly known for his work against disinformation and for his visual arts, was shot dead in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, last November 5, 2022. 


According to reports, the slain public school art teacher and award-winning cartoonist had been red-tagged before his murder for his social commentary and advocacy against disinformation through his visual arts.


“We stand in solidarity with the Capote and Kahil families in the collective condemnation of the crime against humanity and in the clamor for justice,” said a statement from the Lebak Legislated National High School faculty and staff.



Kahil, who was only 27 and lived in Pasandalan, was the national winner of the third Pitik Bulag Tagisan Editorial Cartoon Contest held only last month. Pitik Bulag earlier joined the #FactsFirstPH Initiative, a group committed to fight disinformation on social media, by doing it through visual arts, including cartoons and comic strips. 


Lebak town police chief Lieutenant Colonel Julius Malcontento said Kahil was on his motorcycle, and was on his way home when he was ambushed on a barangay road past 10 pm.  The gunmen shot him several times, and finished him off with a gunshot to the head.


In a statement to the press, Col. Jean Fajardo, PNP spokesperson for Region 12, said that they already have a person of interest in the gruesome killing. “It could be a personal motive, but we’re not discounting the possibility that it could be work-related. The investigators are looking at all angles,” Fajardo said.


Protect our journalists and artists! 


This is not the first time a journalist was killed in the past several months, veteran commentator Percival Mabasa, popularly known as ‘Percy Lapid’ was also shot dead near his home in Brgy. Talon Dos, Las Pinas City around 8:30 p.m. on October 3.


According to witnesses, Mabasa’s vehicle was impacted by an unidentified driver on a Toyota Fortuner. The main suspect, who was on a motorcycle, shot Mabasa before he fled the scene. During the investigation of the crime scene later on, police were able to retrieve empty gun shells from a gun with an unknown caliber. 


Mabasa is the second journalist that was killed under the present administration, following Rey Blanco who was stabbed to death in Negros Occidental last September 18. 


Mabasa was a host on the radio commentary program, Lapid Fire of DWBL 1242. There he highly criticized both the Marcos and Duterte administration and touched on various topics, such as red-tagging and Martial Law. 



━━ Written By  Julia Bautista


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