MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A Palace beat reporter was shot in Pasig City on Sunday night, police said.
Fernan Jose Angeles, a reporter from the The Daily Tribune, was beaten and then shot along Evangelista Street in Barangay Pinagbuhatan at around 10 p.m., according to Pasig City Police chief Senior Superintendent Jesse Cardona. Angeles is a resident of the said barangay.
Angeles, 41, sustained six gunshot wounds and is now at the intensive care unit of the Pasig City General Hospital.
Gemma, Angeles’ wife, said her husband only went out to have his prepaid cellphone reloaded.
“Lumabas lang siya magpa-laod kasi hinahabol niya yung last story niya for deadline. Nagtaka ako after half an hour wala pa din siya, kasi malapit lang yung tindahan. Inisip ko may nakasalubong at naglakad-lakad lang,” Gemma told dzMM.
Gemma said her husband was able to identify his assailant. She said Angeles was conscious the entire night, before he entered the operating room.
“Kinonfirm sa akin ng asawa ko, kasi he was conscious the whole night, until ipasok siya sa operating room. Kita niya kung sino yung sinasabi niyang tao, kilala niya yung tao na yun eh,” she said.
Gemma revealed, but did not give enough details, that the shooting may have something to do with her husband’s recent exposés involving an illegal drug syndicate operating in Pasig City.
She said she is being careful in coordinating with some members of the Pasig Police, whom she alleged might be connected with the mastermind of the shooting.
“Meron akong [alam na mga detalye], pero hindi ko lahat kinukwento, mahirap eh. Itong taong ito malaki to, at baka mamaya hindi ko alam, yung kinu-kwentuhan ko eh [kasabwat] niya. Hindi ko kayang pagkatiwalaan ang mga kapulisan eh,” she said.
Gemma also appealed to those who are willing to donate blood for her husband, who has a type B+. She said a bullet remains lodged in Fernan’s body that doctors are having a hard time removing for fear of extreme bleeding.
“Kung meron man sa inyong magandang loob na magiging donor ng asawa ko, please lang po. He doesn’t deserve this,” Gemma said, crying.
Palace orders probe
The Palace, meanwhile, has ordered the Philippine National Police to immediately resolve the latest incident of media shooting in the country.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo has been tasked to lead the investigation into the shooting.
"We are deeply shocked and concerned over the shooting of Malacañang Press Corps and Daily Tribune reporter Fernan J. Angeles. Secretary Robredo has directed a thorough investigation. We have also been in close contact with Mr. Angeles’ wife so as to render assistance to them in their hour of need. We have also communicated with the officers of MPC to assure them that all will be done to ensure the welfare and recovery of Mr. Angeles," the Palace said in a statement.
The Malacañang Press Corps (MPC), to which Fernan belongs, condemned the attempt at the journalist’s life.
"We, the officers and members of the Malacañang Press Corp, strongly condemn the attack against one of our members, Fernan Angeles of The Daily Tribune," Joyce Pañares, MPC President, said in a statement.
"We want to know if this is work-related. We are outraged and demand a thorough probe on this dastardly attack. We hold the Aquino administration to its word that there will be no sacred cows in cases of wrongdoings, and that it gives a primacy to press freedom and protection of media practitioners in the country."
Angeles has been a member of the media for over 20 years. – with reports from Dexter Ganibe and Junry Hidalgo, dzMM