Malacañang has condemned the attack against a radio broadcaster in Surigao City on Thursday.
Saturnino Estanio of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) and his son, Anjover, a Grade 6 pupil, were shot by unidentified men on a motorcycle as they arrived home.
Estanio, who is known for his strong commentaries against illegal drugs, survived the ambush along with his son.
“We condemn this horrific act of violence. We find comfort in the fact that both father and son have survived to tell their story,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
He noted that Estanio is known for his “unrelenting tirades” against the illegal drug trade and illegal gambling in Surigao City, the same crimes being strongly pursued by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We need journalists who will fight the same crusade as the government. We need journalists who will not be cowed by threats in order to rid the nation of vices such as illegal drugs and illegal gambling,” Andanar said.
Duterte has vowed a bloody crackdown on drugs and has been wary of media coverage critical of his endorsement of extrajudicial means to snuff out the drug menace.
Andanar gave assurances that those responsible for the crime would be held accountable.
“Whatever the perpetrators of this crime think that they’ll achieve by an attempt to murder a journalist, like Estanio, they have already failed. We assure you we stand by the side of good men. Justice will be served,” he said.