Remembering Rino Arcones (UPDATED)

Today marks the 28th death anniversary of Bombo Rino Arcones.
The hard-hitting Arcones was shot dead by the Sparrow Unit of the New People’s Army in front of his rented apartment on Democracia St., Jaro district just as he finished washing and cleaning his car.
Arcones waged a courageous crusade against corruption. He was also a staunch anti-communist, which was why he was targeted by the NPA.
Rino and I were close friends. I was then editor-in-chief of The Daily Times. We often did big exposes together. It was a one-two punch combination that shook the community and drove the issues to the core.
As an anchorman, Rino was hardworking. He dug for stories himself. He conducted interviews and compiled documents. When he broadcast his exposes, everything flowed in a well-scripted commentary, logical in sequence.
Rino was very thorough. He was meticulous to detail. And he didn’t spare the effort to do research. During the Agrava Commission investigation into the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, Rino ordered a pile of magazines and newspapers that published a detailed coverage and dug deep into the reportage. He didn’t assign others to do the research; he always did it himself.

His courageous reporting caught the attention of the international press. The New York Times ran a story about him in 1985, with a photograph showing him with a cal. 45 pistol and an M-16 rifle by his side as he was doing his broadcast. I was then writing for Asiaweek Magazine, and I did a similar story about Rino in the regional magazine of Time Magazine.

A lot of local broadcast anchors have tried to mold themselves in the shape of Rino Arcones. However, I haven’t seen anyone come close to being one.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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