CHR to do own investigation on killing of veteran journo in Samar

Published December 9, 2021, 4:31 PM

by Jel Santos


An independent investigation will be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the killing of veteran journalist Jesus “Jess” Malabanan who was gunned down by two still unidentified assailants in Calbayog City in Samar last Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Malabanan was a Pampanga-based journalist for the Manila Times (not Manila Standard as earlier reported), Bandera and Reuters.

He reportedly helped in developing stories on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs for Reuters, which earned the news outfit the Pulitzer Prize in 2018.

Reports stated that Malabanan was shot dead while watching television inside his house located in Purok 12, Barangay San Joaquin in Tinambacan District at around 6:30 p.m.

The CHR, through Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, a lawyer, said:

“Without bringing the perpetrators to account, this episode of violence further worsens the climate of impunity and affects the freedom of the press to conduct their work without fear.”

De Guia said the CHR has called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to “exert all efforts in identifying the perpetrators and ensuring justice for yet again a violation of person’s right to life.”

She said the CHR also urged the national government to “urgently address killings and similar threats to media, who continues to form part of the working democracy.”

Malabanan’s death is the 22nd on the list of killed journalists under the Duterte Administration, De Guia stressed citing reports.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra earlier said the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) will investigate Malabanan’s killing.