DOJ refers probe into death of ex-NUJP nat'l director to presidential task force on media

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 3) — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he will refer the probe into the killing of John Heredia — formerly national director of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines -- to a presidential task force.

“Considering that John Heredia was a journalist, I will refer his case to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security for investigation and case build-up,” said Guevarra when asked if he will recommend that the Inter-Agency Committee created under Administrative Order No. 35 look into the incident. The IAC was created in 2012 to monitor and ensure the speedy resolution of extra judicial killings, enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons.

Heredia, 54, was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Brgy. Lawaan, Roxas City, human rights organization KARAPATAN said yesterday evening. He was rushed to Capiz Doctors’ Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

"According to reports and accounts of witnesses, one of the perpetrators wore a gray hooded jacket and about 5’3”-5’4” in height," read KARAPATAN's update. "The still unidentified assailant along with a companion sped off aboard a red Bajaj model motorcycle."

Heredia was also a visual artist, musician and founding member of the band Tingog ni Nanay, according to the group.

“Heredia’s wife, human rights lawyer Atty. Criselda Heredia, previously survived an ambush with their daughter and client on board her vehicle on September 23, 2019 in Panit-an, Capiz,” it added.