MALACAÑANG on Saturday condemned the ambush of a radio broadcaster in Davao del Norte and vowed to go after his attackers.
In a statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he immediately ordered an investigation after broadcaster Paterno Lucero Pacquiao was injured after a lone suspect aboard a motorcycle peppered his vehicle with bullets in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on Friday.
“The PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) condemns any act that threatens the well-being of media practitioners simply for doing their job of informing the public,” Andanar said.
“As co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), I have ordered a special investigation to build a solid case, and eventually attain justice for Mr. Pacquiao,” he added.
The Palace official said they would closely monitor this development, and “are prepared to give necessary legal assistance” to Pacquiao.
“We hope for Mr. Pacquiao’s quick recovery and the speedy resolution of the incident… Our office is dedicated to creating an environment that fosters press freedom and where the media can work free of harm,” Andanar said.
“Moving forward, we in the PTFoMS will ensure the protection of the life, liberty, and security of all media workers in the Philippines,” he added.
According to Tagum City Police Station chief Lt. Col. Ariel Acala, Pacquiao’s vehicle was shot several times by a motorcycle-riding gunman while the former was driving his white Ford Eco Sport at around 7:50 a.m. in Purok White Dove, Barangay Visayan, Tagum City.
Pacquiao, the owner of radio station 99.9 RP FM in Tagum City, sustained a gunshot wound at his right upper back of his body.
The gunman then fled toward an unknown direction onboard a white Yamaha XTZ motorcycle after the shooting.
Investigators, who processed the crime scene, recovered two fired cartridge cases, a cartridge and a deformed bullet believed to be from a caliber .45 pistol.
Pacquiao, who is also a provincial information officer, is now being treated at Medical Mission Hospital.
It can be recalled that a journalist was gunned down on June 7, 2018 in Panabo City, Davao del Norte by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants.
Dennis Denora, publisher of Trends and Times in Panabo City and former contributor of SunStar Davao, was shot dead while onboard his vehicle together with his driver in Barangay New Pandan, Panabo City.
With a reports from DARWIN PESCO