MALACAÑANG condemned on Thursday, December 9, the killing of veteran journalist Jesus “Jess” Malabanan.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the tragic murder of Jesus ‘Jess’ Malabanan in Calbayog City. The Presidential Task Force on Media Security is now looking into the incident and exploring all angles, including the possibility that the killing was related to his work as a journalist," acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said.

"It likewise urges everyone with information to come forward to authorities and cooperate with law enforcers in order to immediately bring Mr. Malabanan's killers to justice," he added.

Nograles assured Malabanan’s family that the government will exert all efforts to ensure that those responsible for the crime will be put behind bars, charged and will be convicted.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to expedite the conduct of investigation on Malabanan’s killing, which happened on Wednesday evening, December 8.

Malabanan was shot in the head by motorcycle-riding gunmen while he was watching television inside his house in Barangay San Joaquin, Tinambacan District in Calbayog City, Samar.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it will also conduct a parallel investigation on the incident.

“At the same time, we call on the government to urgently address killings and similar threats to the media, who continue to form part of the working democracy,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said. (SunStar Philippines)