MANILA, Philippines – Two suspects in the recent attack on a local television news crew in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur are facing attempted murder charges.
Motorcycle-riding gunmen had ambushed an ABS-CBN news team on Saturday, December 26, damaging the team’s vehicle. Reporter Ronnie Enderes, cameraman Emilitio Balansag, and driver Gary Montecillo were unharmed.
On Tuesday, December 29, Marawi City Chief Inspector Parson Asadil filed a case at the City Prosecutor’s Office against Yusop Sangcad and Nasser Masurong, both from Barangay Lilod Madaya.
Asadil said witnesses identified the two suspects, who remain at large.
“We already created a Task Group to conduct further investigation on the incident and to immediately arrest the suspects,” he added.
The gunmen attacked when the news team was on its way back to Iligan City from the municipality of Ramain, after covering the bombing of a tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
‘Dangerous for journalists’
The Philippines has been considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.
The 2009 Maguindanao massacre, the country’s worst election-related violence, took the lives of 58 people, 32 of them journalists. Justice has yet to be served. (READ: PH 4th worst country in unsolved media murders)
In a report released on Tuesday, however, an international media rights watchdog said that for 2015, it has not documented a single Filipino journalist killed directly because of his or her work. It’s the first time since 2007 that no killing was recorded in the country by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
But the CPJ also said at least 7 Filipino journalists were slain in “unclear circumstances,” and investigations continue. – Rappler.com