Reporters Without Borders condemns the attempted murder of Fernan Angeles, a newspaper reporter whose beat includes covering the president. Angeles was seriously injured when he was shot six times near his home in the Manila suburb of Pasig on the evening of 11 March. He is the second journalist to be badly shot in less than two weeks.
“We welcome the progress already made in the investigation and the identification of a suspect by the Philippine National Police, and we hope they will not rule the possibility of a link to the victim’s work as a journalist, as several sources close to the case suspect,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This attack is part of a general climate of violence affecting the media that is caused in part by mafia groups.
“We reiterate our appeal to President Benigno Aquino’s government to establish an effective programme to combat armed networks. While combating impunity is the highest priority, thought must also be given to mechanisms for protecting journalists before they fall victim to violence. In view of the gravity of the situation, protecting the media must be a government priority.”
According to Angeles’ wife, Gemma Angeles, the 41-year-old reporter was accosted at around 10 or 11 in the evening by several persons, who dragged him into an alley and gave him a beating. Then one of them shot him six times with a 45-calibre handgun. He was rushed to an intensive care unit in Pasig General Hospital, where he is now considered out of danger.
Before losing consciousness, Angeles said he recognised his assailant and described him as someone with links to a “drug syndicate operating in Pasig City.” Angeles works for the Daily Tribune, a newspaper that often criticizes the government.