MANILA, Philippines – Veteran newspaper columnist Nixon Kua died at the Calamba Medical Center in Laguna around 10:30 pm, July 23, according to his close friend and National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Lito Banayo.
Kua had been in a coma since being shot in the face during a robbery on Sunday, July 22. Police said Kua was “hit on the face and different parts of his body” by one of four gunmen who attacked him and his brother Milo at the Ayala Greenfields subdivision in Laguna.
Police have identified 3 suspects behind the shooting, John Rey Cortez, Darwin Samiano, and Noel Garcia. They were apprehended Monday evening, after a manhunt was launched at noon. An hour after they were apprehended, Kua died.
“Parang hinintay lang niyang mahuli,” Banayo said over the phone. (It was as if he just waited for them to be apprehended.)
Police say the motive for the attack was unlikely connected to Kua’s work as a journalist. Kua also served as chief of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).
Five Philippine journalists, including Kua, have been killed since January, raising the total number of media workers murdered in the Philippines to 154 since democracy was restored in 1986, according to rights groups. – Rappler.com / with reporting from Agence France Presse