Motorcycle gunmen kill Catanduanes columnist

Kristian Javier - Philstar.com
Motorcycle gunmen kill Catanduanes columnist

Larry Que, who died early Tuesday,is the first media personality killed during President Rodrigo Duterte's term. File photo.

MANILA, Philippines — A columnist and publisher of a local paper in Catanduanes died on Tuesday in the first case of a journalist getting killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Catanduanes News Now's Larry Que died early Tuesday at 1:45 a.m. after he was shot Monday morning in Virac by a gunman wearing a bonnet and a raincoat.
The shooter reportedly fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice.
NUJP said Que was shot in the head around 10 a.m. on Monday as he was entering the building where his insurance office was located.
Que was killed after an article he wrote blaming the negligence of the local government leaders for the existence of a large shabu laboratory that had been found in the province. He said the discovery of the shabu lab brought shame on the province.
He also wrote that it is possible the laboratory was set up by Chinese nationals to help the Chinese residents in the island province.
In a report by alternative news agency Kodao, the Catanduanes chapter of the NUJP said the the murder sowed fear within the local media community.
It added that a number of journalists fear that they might be the next target due to their reports on the shabu laboratory, which is said to be the largest in the country.
NUJP added that Jinky Tabor, a local broadcaster, also said that she received death threats after acting as a media witness for the police raid on the facility.
Gov. Joseph Cua said that he respected Que despite differences on many issues, NUJP said.
Early November, Dagupan City reporter Virgilio Maganes was also shot inside the tricycle he rode from his home,. He survived after playing dead.
According to Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, at least 152 media personalities have already been killed in the Philippines since 1986.
Duterte signed an executive order earlier this year to create a task force to look into media killings.


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