MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A journalist was shot dead by riding-in-tandem gunmen in Panabo City, Davao del Norte on Thursday, June 7.
Panabo City police officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Frederic Deles confirmed in a phone interview on Thursday that Dennis Denora, publisher of community newspaper Trends and Times, was gunned down just around 1 pm on Thursday, while he was in his car with his driver along the national highway.
Denora was sitting at the right side of the driver when unknown assailants started firing bullets at him "multiple times," Deles said.
The driver managed to maneuver the car for "around 300 meters" before he jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. Denora died from the shooting, police said.
Police have yet to establish a motive for the killing. Deles said Denora is a "known" media practitioner in the coastal town.
'Kuyang' to fellow Davao journalists
The Davao del Norte Press & Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) condemned the incident, saying it is "is angered and saddened by the news that...our colleague, friend, kuyang, and fellow newspaper publisher Dennis Denora was shot to death in broad daylight."
"This is a tragic reminder of the physical risks journalists take as they work in the field. As a newspaper publisher like myself, I am disheartened by the death of one of the well-known columnists in Davao del Norte," said DNRPC president Pamela Gay Perales.
She said that Denora, an officer and member of the Davao Region Multi-Media Group, "is known for his fearless forecasts both in newspaper and in radio."
"His death awakens the anger and pains of journalists who do their job and yet are being judged by the pistol," Perales said.
The Davao Region is the worst performer among regions in solving riding-in-tandem cases. Out of 74 riding-in-tandem killings recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) from October 11, 2017 to May 21, 2018, only 6 have been either solved or cleared in the region. (READ: 4 killed a day by riding-in-tandem gunmen in the Philippines) – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.