Another Filipino Journalist Gunned Down
At about 10:30 Monday morning ( January 24) another broadcast journalist was gunned down in Puerto Prinsesa City Palawan, Philippines. Dr. Gerry Ortega fondly called by friends as Doc Gerry was a wild life veterinarian by profession and an environmental advocate was the third journalist killed under AquinoAdministration and the 142nd since 1986 according to National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP).
Palawan police reports said that Ortega just finished his morning radio program. He was shot by assailant on the head inside the used clothing store. The assailant was cornered by Ortega’s bodyguard and was arrested by the local police. No police official statement yet of the real motive why Ortega was killed.
Environmentalists said that Ortega was very outspoken about his anti-mining stand. He received death threats since last year. He was the project director of the ABS-CBN Foundation environmental project in Puerto Princesa that won the 2010 Best Community-based Eco-Tourism Project awarded by the Pacific-Asia Travel Association Gold Award.
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the killing of Ortega. NUJP Palawan Chapter and the Palawan Press Club also condemned the killing and demanded a transparent and speedy investigation.
The International Federation of Journalists (IJP) in a press statement said that Ortega’s killing is still a reminder that the Philippines is still among the most dangerous countries for the media workers. “Like those of his colleagues before him, must not go unpunished by the authorities in the Philippines,” said Jacqueline Park IJP’s Asia pacific Director. The IPJ consist of 600,000 members in 125 countries