Another journalist riddled with bullets
MANILA – In the most brazen attack on a member of media since the infamous Maguindanao massacre in 2009, another Filipino journalist was shot and critically wounded in an ambush by a lone gunman in suburban Pasig City Sunday night (March 11), police said.
The victim, Fernan Angeles, a reporter of the Philippine Daily Tribune currently assigned to cover the Malacanang Presidential Palace, sustained at least six bullet wounds in various parts of his body during the attack by the still unidentified gunman escaped from the crime scene after the shooting.
The gunman used a .45 caliber pistol in shooting Angeles. A bullet pierced into one of Angeles’ lungs. He also suffered a broken right arm.
Angeles went out of his house in Pasig City, Metro Manila at about 10 pm Sunday to buy a telephone card for his mobile phone, according to Ms. Joyce Pañares, president of the Malacanang Press Corps (MPC) and a reporter of the Manila Standard.
Members of the MPC are reporters from various media outfits based in Manila assigned to cover Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Angeles was rushed to the Pasig City General Hospital in critical condition. The newsman whispered to his wife, Gemma, that he knew his attacker, but he was afraid because he is a “malaking tao” or someone very influential.
The attack on Angeles was the most brazen since the Maguindanao massacre because it was the first time that a reporter covering Malacanang Palace was shot right in Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital region.
In a statement, Pañares condemned the attack on Angeles. Other media organizations, including the National Press Club of the Philippines, also denounced the attack.
“We, the officers and members of the Malacañang Press Corps, strongly condemn the attack against one of our members, Fernan Angeles of The Daily Tribune,” Pañares said.
“We want to know if this is work-related. We are outraged and demand a thorough probe on this dastardly attack,” adding that “we hold the Aquino administration to its word that there will be no sacred cows in cases of wrongdoings, and that it gives a primacy to press freedom and protection of media practitioners in the country,” she said.
President Aquino immediately ordered a thorough investigation into the shooting of Angeles.
"We are deeply shocked and concerned over the shooting of Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) and Daily Tribune reporter Fernan J. Angeles," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.
Lacierda said the president directed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting incident.
He said the government is exerting all efforts to ensure the safety of Angeles as well as his family.
"We have also been in close contact with Mr. Angeles’ wife (Gemma) so as to render assistance to them in their hour of need. We have also communicated with the officers of MPC to assure them that all will be done to ensure the welfare and recovery of Mr. Angeles," Lacierda said.