New York, January 31, 2005—Gunmen shot the publisher of a weekly newspaper four times in the chest as he left his office in Mindanao’s Tagum City on Saturday morning, leaving the journalist critically injured. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating the attack on Maximo “Max” Quindao, who also serves as editor of the weekly Mindanao Truck, to determine whether the shooting was connected to his journalism.
Police said that two men on a motorcycle fled after shooting Quindao, 46, just after 9 a.m., according to local and international news reports. Quindao was rushed to Tagum Doctors Hospital and later transferred to Davao Regional Hospital for emergency surgery.
Police have not established a motive but are investigating the possibility of a personal grudge. Philippine National Police Chief Edgar Aglipay said in a radio interview that police had received information that Quindao was no longer an active journalist, according to Manila Standard.
That assertion, though, was at odds with other public comments, including news reports that quoted Quindao’s wife as saying that the shooting might have been in retaliation for her husband’s recent columns criticizing a high-ranking public official.
The local chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Quindao’s weekly columns criticized poor government services and drew attention to local corruption and illegal logging. Colleagues told NUJP and local reporters that they believed the shooting was work-related.
Eight journalists were murdered for their work in the Philippines in 2004, according to CPJ research. Only Iraq was deadlier for journalists.