A JOURNALIST who survived an attempt on his life four years ago was shot to death yesterday morning in Villasis, Pangasinan yesterday morning, the 18th mediaman murdered during the administration of President Duterte.
The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office identified the victim as Virgillo Maganes, a commentator for radio station DWPR and a columnist of the weekly Northern Watch newspaper.
Maganes, a member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, survived an attempt on his life on November 8, 2016 by playing dead after he was shot by two suspects.
Yesterday, Maganes was about to enter the compound of his residence in Sitio Licsab, Barangay San Blas at around 6:45 a.m. when he was shot by two suspects aboard a motorcycle.
Police said Maganes, 62, was shot six times and died on the spot.
An investigation is still ongoing to determine the motive behind the murder and the identities of the suspects.
The NUJP condemned the murder of the Maganes, which occurred eight days after the International Day to End Impunity for Crime Against Journalists.
“We demand that authorities work fast to solve his death, which could be related to the botched attempt on his life on November 8, 2016, when motorcycle-riding gunmen fired at him as he rode a tricycle,” the NUJP said.
“Wounded, Vir played dead as his would-be killers left a cardboard sign saying ‘Drug pusher huwag pamarisan’ in an obvious attempt to smear him and mask their real motives,” the NUJP added.
It said the attempt on Maganes’ life in 2016 remain unresolved and added the attack did not stop Maganes from doing his work as a journalist. He attended the NUJP’s 10th Congress in 2018.
“Vir is the 18th journalist murdered during the Duterte administration and the 190th since 1986. His death is an indictment on this government’s empty boast that press freedom is alive and well in the country,” the NUJP said.
“We will continue to seek justice for Vir and all our other fallen colleagues as we continue our struggle for genuine freedom of the press and of expression in our country,” the group said.