Philippines: CPJ calls for thorough probe in slaying

New York, May 3, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an immediate and full investigation into the shooting death today of newspaper columnist Nicholas Cervantes, 65. According to media reports, he was shot three times in the chest by a group of four or five assailants outside of his house in suburban Manila. Cervantes, who wrote for the Daily Tribune and the Mindanao Daily Inquirer, died on the way to the hospital.

The motive in the killing was not immediately clear. Senior Police Superintendent Ericson Velasquez said Cervantes also worked as an agent for the government’s internal revenue bureau, Agence France-Presse reported. Cervantes had received death threats for his work at the tax bureau, Philippine media quoted his family as saying. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the killing was related to his journalism.