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(UPDATED 3:05 p.m.) - A Malacañang reporter Fernan Angeles was shot and wounded near his house in Pasig City Sunday night, and his wife claims the attack could be connected to his work. Angeles, a reporter of "The Daily Tribune," was brought to the Pasig City General Hospital after sustaining six gunshot wounds from a .45-caliber gun and a bone fracture in his right arm, radio dzBB's Tuesday Niu reported. Angeles was still in critical condition with bullet fragments in his body. His wife, Gemma, said that she wasn't ruling out that her husband was shot because of his reporting on the illegal sale of narcotics in Pasig. Gemma said before Angeles lost consciousness as he was being brought to the hospital, he mentioned that he knew his attacker and that he was afraid because “malaking tao” or someone influential was allegedly behind the attack. Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) president Joyce Pañares said Angeles, 41, had an argument with a group of men on Sunday night when he went out to buy a prepaid load for his cell phone. In a statement issued on Monday, the MPC condemned the attack against Fernan.
“We are outraged and demand a thorough probe on this dastardly attack,” the press corps said, adding “We want to know if this is work-related.” “We hold the Aquino administration to its word that there will be no sacred cows in cases of wrongdoings, and that it gives a primacy to press freedom and protection of media practitioners in the country,” the press corps also said. MPC is a group of reporters, both from local and international print, television, radio and online news organizations, covering the Office of the President and its attached agencies. Dig deep into incident At Camp Crame, National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome has put to task the National Capital Region Police Office and the Eastern Police District to dig deep into the shooting incident.
"As we speak, EPD investigators are working double time to limit the movement of the gunman and perhaps effect an arrest soonest," said PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz said in a statement.
At the same time, Cruz said the PNP Task Fire Usig has been tasked to extend every possible assistance to Angeles' family, including security to his immediate family.
Barred from Palace event?In February, Angeles was also in the news for allegedly being barred from covering a Palace event. A Tribune story with his byline claimed that the elite Presidential Security Group (PSG) barred him from entering the Palace for the usual coverage, even after he showed his press ID issued by the Tribune. A Palace record book showed that Angeles showed up for the event. "Three PSG men, including one who had a name tag that read Divino, were with two wire news photographers when Angeles was made to wait at the PSG sentry against his will," the Tribune report said. The Tribune claimed that it was not the first time that newsmen perceived hostile to the Palace were treated this way. "I believe that Malacañang Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has effectively imposed measures to annoy reporters coming from critical newspapers," Angeles said in his report. Angeles' report also alleged that deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte gave him and Manila Times reporter Jaime Pilapil "selective" treatment. - with Amita Legaspi, VVP/HS/RSJ, GMA News