The IPI global network calls for an immediate investigation into the killing of Filipino journalist Federico “Ding” Gempesaw, a radio commentator who was shot by two gunmen on the morning of June 29. We demand justice for his killing and urge authorities to take all possible steps to safeguard journalists from further attacks.
Gempesaw was shot in broad daylight when he got out of a taxi on his way home in the city of Cagayan de Oro, according to reports. A witness said the journalist wrestled with one of the attackers before being shot a second time and killed. Police said they have not yet identified the gunmen, who wore masks and left on a motorcycle, or established a motive for the killing.
Before he was a radio political commentator and the host of a program for Radyo Natin, a local station, Gempesaw worked in a city hall office, according to Rappler.
“IPI condemns the killing of Federico ‘Ding’ Gempesaw, and we extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues”, IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette said. “Authorities must immediately investigate this killing to determine the motive for this crime and prosecute those responsible. Given the past violence and threats targeting journalists in the Philippines, we renew our call on the government to take serious steps to prosecute those responsible for Gempesaw’s death and prevent future attacks against the press.”
This killing comes just days after newly elected president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office and less than a week after authorities ordered the shutdown of the news organization Rappler. Following years of attacks against the media during Duterte’s presidency, there are many concerns about the state of press freedom under the new government.