Bangkok, July 23, 2018–A Filipino radio reporter was shot multiple times and died from his injuries on July 20 in the town of Daraga, in the country’s central Albay province, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the killing and called on Philippine authorities to swiftly identify and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Joey Llana, a radio reporter with Home Radio Legazpi, was shot 14 times at around 4:45 a.m. by at least two assailants using a .45 caliber handgun and a 9mm pistol while he was driving his car out of a garage on his way to host his week-day radio program Metrobanat, according to the local non-profit organization Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the news website Rappler, citing regional police.
The reporter sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body and was declared dead when first responders arrived at the crime scene at 6:05 a.m., the reports said.
“We call on Philippine authorities to give top priority to achieving justice for slain journalist Joey Llana,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Until President Rodrigo Duterte shows he is serious about stopping the culture of violence that allows for killers of journalists to go unpunished, these types of shootings will regrettably continue.”
Daraga City police chief Benito Dipad, citing Llana’s family, told media that the journalist had received death threats since 2017 from unknown sources. Dipad did not elaborate on the nature of the threats, according to reports.
Dipad said police would form a task group to investigate and resolve Llana’s killing, according to news reports. Police officials did not indicate any suspects or possible motives in his killing, reports stated.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Llana’s killing was “yet another infringement on the rights to life and a free press” and that the Presidential Task Force on Media Security would be “relentless” in pursuing justice in the case, according to news reports.
The Philippines ranked fifth on CPJ’s most recent Impunity Index, a quantitative ranking of countries worldwide where journalists are killed and the murderers go free.