Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, has announced he is personally leading an investigation into the killing of Catanduanes publisher Larry Que starting this week.
“I am personally seeing to it that the investigation of this killing moves forward faster, as we are treating Que’s case as the first killing of a journalist under the President’s term,” Egco, a former Manila Standard reporter, said.
“Especially in this case, where it appears that Que was exposing the shortcomings of government officials whose vigilance could have thwarted the setting up of one of the largest shabu laboratories uncovered last year.
“Being a journalist myself, Que’s killing could cause a chilling effect among journalists who are on a mission to expose crime and corruption,” he added.
The Catanduanes Police Provincial Office has recommended that ample time be given for the investigation because the complexity of the case may require a thorough look into the victim’s dealings and affiliations.
Que, the publisher of Catanduanes News Now, was shot in the head by one of two armed suspects on Dec. 19, 2016 as he was about to enter the building that houses his office, the Centennial Guarantee Insurance company. He was rushed to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines noted that prior to Que’s killing, he had written articles criticizing local officials for supposed negligence, which allowed the construction of a recently-raided shabu laboratory that authorities said was the biggest so far discovered in the country.