Another broadcaster was shot in Cebu City on Thursday, five days after Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa told the world about attacks against journalists in the Philippines.
Rico Osmeña of Cebu radio station dyLA was shot by two unidentified riding-in-tandem gunmen aboard a bus and was injured with another passenger at around 1 pm last December 16.
Both victims survived and are recuperating from their injuries.
Osmeña just finished his radio program when the attack happened.
Osmeña is also a correspondent for The Daily Tribune.
The Cebu chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the incident and called for a swift and impartial investigation.
“Osmeña’s shooting happened proximate to the upcoming election period – a period in our country perennially marred by violence and extrajudicial attempts to stifle media,” the group said.
NUJP Cebu noted that Visayas media had been victims of a series of attacks, recalling the assassination of DyRB radio commentator Rey Cortes last July, also in Cebu City.
“The reports of attacks on our colleagues in the Visayas are a result of the culture of impunity that prevails in our country. It is a culture that affirms the killings are a valid way to forward an agenda,” the group said.
The media security task force of the government also denounced the attack, adding it has already asked the regional police to find and apprehend the perpetrators.
Presidential Task Force on Media Security executive director Joel Sy Egco said it is too early to determine the motive behind the attack but said they presume it is work-related as a matter of policy.
Egco acknowledged that the election period may see more threats and violence against media workers.
In her speech in Oslo, Ressa called attention to the plight of journalist and broadcaster Frenchie Mae Quimpio who had been in jail for more than two years and the murder of Central Luzon-based journalist Jesus Santiago earlier this month.
The NUJP said at least 21 journalists have been killed under the Rodrigo Duterte government. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)