The Associated Press cited Paet’s son, Eugene Jr., as saying his father may have been targeted because of his radio commentaries about local politics. Other local and international media reports cited regional police director Chief Superintendent Constantino Azares as saying that the shooting is still being investigated, and it is not clear that the attack can be linked to Paet’s work as a reporter on the news program “Commando Radio” in Vigan, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Manila.
“We join with Eugene Paet’s colleagues, friends, and family in wishing him a full recovery,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Attacks by motorcycle-mounted gunmen have become regular occurrences in the Philippines, and most of the cases remain unprosecuted, if they are investigated at all. This shooting must not be allowed to become another one of those unexplained statistics.”
CPJ listed the Philippines as the deadliest country for journalists in 2009, following the killing of at least 29 journalists in a single incident in Maguindanao in the south of the country on November 23. But more journalists—at least 37—have been killed since 1992, and the overwhelmingly vast majority of their deaths remain unprosecuted. Many of those died in circumstances similar to Thursday night’s attack on Paet. In 2009, the Philippines ranked sixth on CPJ’s Impunity Index, as reported in Getting Away with Murder.