Cresenciano Bunduquin, a journalist for Philippine radio station DWXR, was shot dead on a street in Calapan on Wednesday. Before his death, the man reportedly received threats. The son of a 50-year-old who witnessed the murder set off in pursuit of the attackers.
Bunduquin was fatally shot by two assailants on a motorcycle, the Manila Bulletin portal reported, citing the findings of the Philippine police. The attack took place around 4:20 a.m. Wednesday at one of the nearby shops. A series of shots were fired at the 50-year-old. The man was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The son ran after the attackers
The son of a journalist who witnessed the murder ran after the attackers. He chased them in his car for about 300 meters before colliding with their motorcycle. One of the perpetrators, identified by the police as Narciso Ignacio Guntan, fell out of his seat and crashed into the metal guard rails on the roadside, as a result of which he died. The other escaped on foot in an unknown direction. His search continues.
“We are maximizing our efforts to obtain more evidence and testimonies to shed light on this incident and allow for the immediate arrest of the perpetrator,” said Redrico Maranan, head of the Philippine police press office.
– Bunduquin’s murder is further proof that na Philippines journalists are still at risk, despite improved press freedom rates and a relatively friendlier media relationship with the current administration, said Jonathan de Santos, president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, as quoted by The Guardian.
The journalist had previously received threats
According to Jester Joaquin, who manages radio station DWXR, both during his work and on his social media, the shot journalist was supposed to “hit hard” on local issues, touching on topics such as an oil spill that occurred off the coast of Oriental Mindoro province after a tanker sank, problems related to illegal gambling and political issues. “He has told me before about the threats he has received, but has not shared the details. He also mentioned that he wanted to change his professional life a bit. He wanted to calm down, so he bought a chicken farm, adds Joaquin.
In connection with the death of Bunduquin of the embassy Canada and New Zealand issued a joint statement on Wednesday. “Attacks against media workers must be immediately investigated, and their perpetrators must be brought to justice. Media freedom is an integral part of democracy. To protect it, it is necessary for journalists to be able to perform their duties without fear for their safety and their lives.” its content as quoted by the Manila Bulletin. It also called on the Philippine authorities to “take concrete steps” to bring the attackers to justice.
Philippines ranked 132nd in the Press Freedom Index
“While the 1987 constitution guarantees freedom of the press, in practice the law in the Philippines does not protect the freedom to practice as a journalist,” according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). IN this year’s media freedom ranking the country ranked 132 out of 180 seats. Describing the state of the press in the Philippines, the RSF stresses that journalists there are at risk of “targeted government attacks and constant harassment.”
Bunduquin’s death is already the third murder of a journalist since June 2022, when Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was sworn in as president – son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. It is also the 198th murder of a journalist in the Philippines since the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. Radio journalists are the most frequent target of attacks – Bunduquin was the 101st of them.
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Manila Bulletin, The Guardian, Rappler, rsf.org, pna.gov.ph
Main photo source: AFP/East News