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Police nab suspects in murder of Pangasinan journalist
Virgilio Maganes is the 18th journalist slain under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Police nab suspects in murder of Pangasinan journalist

(Philstar.com) - December 14, 2020 - 3:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has arrested a suspect linked to the killing of Virgilio Maganes, the journalist gunned down in Pangasinan in early November. 

Speaking before reporters at a briefing Monday morning, Police Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the PNP, disclosed that a Special Investigation Task Group had arrested Noe Ducay, suspected to be gunman in the attack. Sinas said Dusay was "positively identified by witnesses." 

The SITG will be filing a murder case against the Dusay along with "several John Does," which is used for suspects who are yet to be identified. 

"His other companion is also being searched for by police, however he has also been identified already," Sinas said in Filipino.

To recall, Maganes was shot in front of his home in Sitio Licsab, Barangay San Blas. Witnesses accounts said he was shot at least six times.

Sinas sees 'personal grudge' as motive for killing

Maganes, a commentator for tdwPR radio and a writer for the Northern Watch, is the eighteenth journalist killed under the Duterte administration. He had already survived an earlier attempt on his life four years ago when motorcycle-riding gunmen also fired at Maganes while he was onboard a tricycle.

His suspected killer, Ducay, was motivated by a "personal grudge," Sinas said, though it is not clear what this was about.

In a statement issued in the wake of his shooting, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expressed concern that Maganes was unprotected despite the first assassination attempt remaining unsolved. 

“We demand that authorities work fast to solve his death, which could be related to the botched attempt on his life on November 8, 2016. Even as we mourn the loss of a colleague and extend our heartfelt sympathies to all those he left behind; the community of independent Filipino journalists shall not let his death be in vain. We will continue to seek justice for Vir and all our other fallen colleagues as we continue our struggle for genuine freedom of the press and of expression in our country," the NUJP also said. 

Sinas has himself not taken kindly to critical reporting, having found himself on the receiving end of criticism after he reportedly forced members of the Metro Manila police press corps to pack up and vacate what was their press office for decades following a slew of "media protocols", which earned him the reputation at the time of being "anti-media."

When news broke earlier this year of Sinas' birthday party held amid the strict enhanced community quarantine, the National Capital Region Police Office removed Rappler police reporter Rambo Talabong from its press corps group chat. — Franco Luna with reports from The STAR 

MEDIA SECURITY NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS IN THE PHILIPPINES NUJP PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP PRESS FREEDOM
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