Manila, Philippines –
Gunmen on motorbikes have killed a longtime commentator in the capital Manila in the latest attack on a member of the media in the Philippines, considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world. world for journalists.
Police said Percival Mabasa, 63, was driving his vehicle Monday night when two men on motorbikes approached and shot him twice in the head on the outskirts of Las Pinas.
The attackers escaped and an investigation is underway to identify and locate them, police officials said. They said investigators were trying to determine a motive for the attack.
Mabasa, who used the broadcast name Percy Lapid, criticized former President Rodrigo Duterte who oversaw a deadly crackdown on illegal drugs and his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of a dictator who was overthrown in a 1986 democracy uprising.
Media watchdogs condemned Mabasa’s killing, saying the attack underscores how deadly the Philippines is to journalists.
“The incident in Metro Manila shows how blatant the perpetrators are and how the authorities failed to protect journalists and ordinary citizens from harm,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in a statement. An announcement.
Amnesty International said the attack “carries all the hallmarks of an extrajudicial execution and an attempt to silence voices critical of the government.”
The victim’s family condemned the “barbaric and shameless murder” and demanded that the perpetrator be brought to justice.
Mabasa was the second journalist to be killed under Marcos Jr., who took office in June. Broadcaster Rey Blanco was stabbed to death in a skirmish last month in central Negros Oriental province. The suspect immediately surrendered to the police.
Nearly 200 journalists have been killed in the Philippines since 1986, when Marcos Sr. overthrown, according to the association of journalists. The group led a protest on Tuesday night and called on the government to do more to stop the killing of journalists.
In 2009, members of a powerful political clan and their people killed 58 people, including 32 media workers, in an execution-style attack in the southern province of Maguindanao that left both horror world.
The mass killings, linked to political rivalry, have exposed the dangers journalists face in the Philippines, a country with many unlicensed guns, private armies run by clans control power and weak law enforcement, especially in rural areas.