Palace reporter shot, in critical condition
MANILA, Philippines – A reporter of The Daily Tribune remains in critical condition after he was shot outside his home in Pasig City on Sunday night, March 11.
Fernan Angeles, who covers the Malacañang beat, sustained 6 gunshot wounds and a bone fracture, according to his wife Gemma.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda informed members of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) that, based on a text message he received from Angeles's wife Gemma, Angeles was indeed shot.
As of posting time, Angeles was still at the recovery room of the Pasig City General Hospital, his condition unstable. Mrs Angeles appealed for prayers for her husband.
A dzBB report quoted MPC president Joyce Pañares as saying Angeles was last seen arguing with a group of men Sunday night while having his Internet account reloaded.
Gemma Angeles told the MPC that he sustained six gunshot wounds from a .45 gun. His right arm was also broken when he was attacked, the MPC, quoting Mrs Angeles, said in a statement.
Gemma said that before he lost consciousness as he was being rushed to the Pasig City General Hospital, Fernan told her he knew his attacker, and that he was afraid because “malaking tao” or someone influential was behind it, the MPC added.
The MPC condemned the attack on Angeles.
"We want to know if this is work-related. We are outraged and demand a thorough probe on this dastardly attack," the press corps covering the President said. "We hold the Aquino administration to its word that there will be no sacred cows in cases of wrongdoing, and that it gives primacy to press freedom and protection of media practitioners in the country."
Lacierda gave assurances that "all will be done to ensure the welfare and recovery of Mr Angeles." In a statement, Lacierda said: "We are deeply shocked and concerned over the shooting of Malacañang Press Corp and Daily Tribune reporter Fernan Angeles. Secretary Robredo has directed a thorough investigation. We have also been in contact with Mr Angeles's wife so as to render assistance to them in their hour of need."
In a press statement, the Philippine National Police said: "What we can share at the moment is the information that the violent attack was the result of a melee or brawl that erupted in Fernan Angeles’ neighborhood on Sunday evening."
The PNP said its units are working "double time" to arrest the gunman.
Earlier in February, Angeles reported in the Tribune that he was prevented from covering a Palace event by the elite Presidential Security Group, despite showing his press ID issued by his newspaper.
“Presidential Security Goons (PSG) did it again. This time on a poor newspaperman who would welcome mano-a-mano if only to end their overzealous behavior, to the detriment of press freedom,” Angeles wrote in his Facebook account last March 1, with his Tribue story attached to it.
“I believe that [the] Malacañang Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has effectively imposed measures to annoy reporters coming from critical newspapers,” Angeles was quoted as saying in his own news report.
Angeles also complained about the "selective treatment" that he and fellow reporter Jaime Pilapil of the Manila Times was getting from Malacañang.
When asked about this, a ranking officer assigned with the PSG, who requested not to be named, told Rappler that the unit has already removed arrogant soldiers ("astang siga") from its ranks.
Lacierda told the MPC in a text message that he has spoken to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo about the shooting incident. - Rappler.com