THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday said an inter-agency investigation is underway for the killing of a radio broadcaster on Monday evening, which had been denounced by media groups, various sectors, and foreign governments.
“We will look at all the facts relevant to the case because there’s really no room for this behavior,” DoJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic F. Clavano IV told CNN Philippines. “Hopefully, we will get to the bottom of this.”
Radio journalist Percival Mabasa, 63, was killed by two assailants at the gate of a residential compound in Las Piñas, police said on Tuesday.
His YouTube Channel, which had over 200,000 subscribers, showed he had been critical of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte and some policies of current officials.
The Justice official noted that the country’s task force on media security will collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to investigate the killing.
The task force was formed in 2016 under Mr. Duterte’s presidency.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevarra told reporters on Tuesday that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. was “very concerned” over the shooting of the broadcaster.
He added that the National Bureau of Investigation was also instructed to investigate the killing.
The Philippine National Police has said it formed a special task force to lead the investigation.
Las Piñas Police chief Jamie O. Santos earlier said that local police are not ruling out the possibility of Mr. Mabasa’s profession as a motive for his murder.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines as well as the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines have issued separate statements condemning the killing and calling for justice.
On Tuesday evening, the embassies of the Netherlands, Canada, and France expressed concern over the journalist’s murder and media freedom in the Philippines.
“Journalist killings strike at the very core of media freedom and can create a chilling effect that curtails the ability of journalists to report news freely and safely,” according to a joint statement posted by the Dutch and Canadian embassies and backed by the French embassy. — John Victor D. Ordoñez