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Ilocos Norte columnist shot dead

Ariel Paolo Tejada - The Philippine Star

PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte, Philippines – A columnist for a local newspaper was shot dead at the town’s public market Friday.

Police said Steve Tumaneng Barreiro, 52, a columnist of the Ilocos Times, died instantly after he was shot several times.

Police chief Senior Insp. Roderick Rabago said the victim’s daughter, Maria Stephanie, identified the gunman as a certain Oliver Doctor, alias Boyet.

Stephanie said she was with her father on their way home when they dropped by a grocery store at the town’s public market.

She said she was waiting nearby for her father at the grocery store when the suspect approached and shot the victim several times with an automatic handgun.

Police said Doctor was able to escape. Investigators found several spent 9mm shells at the scene.

Police are investigating reports that the killing was motivated by jealousy on the part of the suspect.

Doctor was said to be the former husband of Barreiro’s girlfriend, Criselda Aguinaldo.

“The initial findings in our investigation revealed there was an old grudge between the victim and the suspect. The victim was a widower and he was living with the woman who was the ex-wife of the suspect,” Ilocos Norte provincial police director Senior Superintendent Albert Ocon said.

Ocon said the shooting was not the first encounter between the victim and suspect.

“In the past there was also an incident where both figured in an argument after they saw each other at a restaurant in Laoag City,” Ocon said.

Gov. Imee Marcos condemned the killing, saying Barreiro is a valued member of the media and the Ilocano community.

“We denounce this heinous crime and we will make certain the perpetrators whoever they may will be punished,” Marcos said.

Barreiro survived a grenade attack at his house in Laoag City in July 2009. His houseboy was hurt by the blast.

His colleagues in the media described Barreiro as a hard-hitting columnist. The victim was an active member of the group Ilocos Anti-Black Sand Mining Advocates.

He was also an officer of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ilocos Norte chapter and a member of the Rotary Club of Laoag Sunshine.

Barreiro became the latest victim in the series of attacks against media practitioners since last month.

Teodoro Escanilla, 59, a radio anchor for station dzMS, chairman of Anakpawis and spokesman of the human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon, was gunned down in his home in Barangay Tagdon, Barcelona, Sorsogon last Aug. 19.

Gregorio Ybanez, 65, a writer for the local newspaper Bagting sa Katilingban and a member of the board of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, was shot dead by unknown assassins on Aug. 18.

Cosme Diez Maestrado, a broadcaster and anchor of dxOC, an affiliate of dzXl Radio Mindanao Network, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen last Thursday in downtown Ozamiz City.

Two weeks ago, a café owned by Anthony Taberna of ABS-CBN was attacked by unidentified gunmen.

Ozamis City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. offered a reward for the suspects in the killing of Maestrado.

The Misamis Occidental Provincial Police said they have identified the gunmen after tracing the motorcycle used by the suspects. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Raymund Catindig, Gerry Lee Gorit, Artemio Dumlao

ACIRC

ANTHONY TABERNA

ARTEMIO DUMLAO

BARANGAY TAGDON

BARREIRO

COSME DIEZ MAESTRADO

CRISELDA AGUINALDO

GERRY LEE GORIT

GREGORIO YBANEZ

ILOCOS ANTI-BLACK SAND MINING ADVOCATES

LAOAG CITY

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