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Journalist Jesus Malabanan Shot Dead in Calbayog City, 22nd Since 2016

His colleagues urge authorities to bring his killers to justice.
by Pia Regalado
Dec 9, 2021
Photo/s: Jesus Malabanan/Facebook
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A Philippine correspondent has died after being shot Wednesday, authorities said, as his colleagues pressed authorities to bring his killers to justice.

Jesus Malabanan was killed in Calbayog City in the central province of Samar, according to a statement on the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines' (NUJP) Facebook page.

Malabanan was a correspondent for the Manila Standard in the Central Luzon region, north of the capital, the newspaper told AFP, confirming his death. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

He is the 22nd media person killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016. In late October, radio and online journalist Orlando Dinoy was shot dead in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, which the NUJP counted as the 21's fatality.

"Malinaw na hindi nagkataon lamang ang kasong ito dahil si Jess na ang ika-22 na mamamahayag na pinatay sa ilalim ni rehimeng Duterte. Lumalala ang kultura ng kawalang pananagutan kung saan laging pinapatahimik ng may kapangyarihan ang katotohanan na nilalathala ng midya," the Kabataan Partylist said.

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Presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao called the incident a "cold-blooded murder", adding "Tigilan na natin ang karahasan sa mga mamamahayag".

The Pampanga chapter of the NUJP and the Pampanga Press Club called on authorities to bring his killers to justice. Malabanan reports from that province north of Manila.

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“Jess to many among us, a long-time reporter and stringer for many media outfits for many years, had proven himself to be a man dedicated to his duties as a journalist,” the press club said.

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Malabanan's killing is "totally unacceptable," said Manuel Mogato, editor-in-chief of PressONE.ph.

Mogato worked with Malabanan for 15 years when he was still with Reuters, among their assignments was the Pulitzer Prize-winning series on President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

In a report issued in October before the latest killings, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists listed the Philippines at seventh place in its Global Impunity Index, with 13 murders of journalists still unsolved.

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The nation has been a mainstay in the annual index since it started in 2008.

The Presidential Task Force on media Security said police would form a task force to solve the Malabanan case. -- with a report from AFP


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