Land dispute a possible motive in slay of journo Malabanan — task force
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is looking into the angle that land dispute could have triggered the murder of journalist Jesus “Jess” Malabanan.
Malabanan, a correspondent for Manila Standard, Bandera, and Reuters, was shot dead inside his store in Calbayog, Western Samar on December 8.
“Ngayon ito pong karamihan sa mga biktima po nang pagpaslang ay mayroon din pong mga ibang dealings ‘no – may personal, may personal na away, mayroong negosyo at samu’t sari pa pong mga dahilan kung bakit sila ay nalagay sa kapahamakan,” PTFoMS Executive Director Undersecretary Joel Egco said during the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.
(Most of the journalists who are victims of killings have other dealings — there are personal issues, business, and other reasons behind the threats on their lives)
“And in fact gusto na niyang—para mag-retire dito at umuwi sa Samar dahil gusto na po niyang mag-farming. So isa po ‘yun sa tinitingnan natin, itong kaniyang panibagong career wika nga ‘no. Sinisilip po natin ‘yan – iyong mga usaping lupa – baka may nakaaway siya roon at doon po tayo nakasentro ngayon, doon sa lugar kung saan siya pinaslang,” he added.
(In fact, he wanted to retire and return home to Samar because he wanted to start farming. That is one of the angles that we are looking into. His new career. We are looking at land disputes. We are focusing our probe in the area where he was slain.)
Egco said Malabanan had no rivals in Pampanga where he worked, that is why they are concentrating their investigation in Samar.
On Monday, the task force will have a case conference with the special investigation Task Group Malabanan in Calbayog, Samar, said Egco.
Malabanan, 58, is the 22nd journalist killed in the Philippines since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in 2016.
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