A veteran newspaper columnist and former head of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) is in a critical condition after he was shot in the face during a robbery yesterday, police said.
Nixon Kua, 49, was “hit on the face and different parts of his body” by one of four gunmen who attacked him and his younger brother, Allyxon, 46, in the latter’s residence in Calamba City, Laguna, police said in a statement.
His brother was also shot several times in the body, but was later declared out of danger at a hospital.
The motive of the attack was unlikely connected to Kua’s work as a journalist for tabloid Pilipino Star Ngayon, police said.
Kua, who was appointed by then-President Joseph Estrada to head the PTA in 2000, was also formerly a stringer for international news agencies.
Police said the four men snatched a bag from Kua’s daughter containing about P90,000 before they fled, leading investigators to believe the motive was purely robbery. Meanwhile, a special task force was created by the Laguna Provincial Police Office (PPO) after the incident.
Laguna PPO director Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz said that Kua was still in the intensive care unit (ICU) of an undisclosed hospital after suffering several gunshot wounds during the attack around 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Cruz said Kua was at the house of his brother at the posh Ayala Greenfield, Makiling Highland in Barangay Maunong, Calamba City, along with his daughter Sue Anne Kua, 21, when they were attacked.
A third suspect took her turn in snat ching the hand bag of Sue Anne. Reports said the bag contained P90,000 and an iPhone.
The suspects fled and disappeared toward a dimly portion of the place.
According to Cruz, Laguna Gov. George Ejercito offered P100,000 reward for the resolution of the case.
“We created Task Force Nixon and the governor offered P100,000 reward,” said Cruz.
Cruz said Nixon remains in the ICU while his brother, Allyxon, is now okay.
Outspoken journalists are routinely attacked in the Philippines, which is rated by watchdog groups as one of the most dangerous places for members of the press.
Four journalists have been killed since January, raising the total number of media workers murdered in the Philippines to 153 since democracy was restored in 1986, according to rights groups.