TARLAKENYO (June 30, 2023) — A tabloid photojournalist and his wife, and several children were wounded after assailants fired on their vehicle yesterday afternoon.
Remate Online photographer Rene Joshua Abiad suffered bullet wounds on his hand and shoulder when unidentified assailants fired on their SUV.
Abiad, presumably the target of the assailants, and seated at the front passenger side of the SUV, with his wife Elizabeth, his brother and driver Renato Jr, his daughter Cheryl, and minors aged 4, 6, and 8 were wounded while a bystander identified as Jeffrey Cao was also hit by a stray bullet. They were brought to the hospital for treatment.
According to police, there are three to five suspects were involved in the ambush.
The Prime Alliance of Publishers, Editors, and Reporters (PAPER.Ph) group was quick to condemn the shooting.
“We strongly condemn this act and the ongoing threat against journalists in the Philippines. We stand in solidarity with Mr. Abiad, his family, and our colleagues at Remate Online during these distressing times,” PAPER.Ph national president Luisito Angeles said.
The organization urged the authorities to “investigate this case with the urgency, impartiality, and thoroughness it warrants.”
“This blatant act of violence cannot silence the free press,” Angeles, Bulacan broadcaster, said.
Two other media groups echoed the widespread condemnation of the attack on Abiad.
“There is no justification for the shooting of a media worker,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.
“We stand in solidarity with the media community as we struggle for press freedom, and call for justice for other journalists who are victims of harassment and violence,” the Photojournalists Center of the Philippines said.
In a report from the police, Abiad and his family of six were on board their Ford Everest around 3 p.m. Upon reaching the corner of Corumi and Gasan Streets in Barangay Masambong, two male suspects alighted from a Toyota Vios and started shooting at the victims’ vehicle.
Another male suspect on a motorcycle was also on the scene and tailed the sedan as they escaped along Corumi toward the direction of Del Monte Avenue.
Meanwhile, the alleged gunman behind the killing of Oriental Mindoro broadcaster Cresenciano “Cris” Bundoquin surfaced before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Presidential Task Force on Media Security announced on Wednesday, June 28.
Isabelo Lopez Bautista, the alleged gunman, appeared before the NBI Metro Manila office. Bautista, however, claimed he was not the gunman who shot the slain journalist but promised to cooperate.