2 columnists of defunct tabloid killed in QC
Two columnists of a weekly tabloid which published just one issue before it shut down earlier this year were gunned down shortly before midnight the other day in Quezon City.
While investigators have yet to establish a motive for the killing of “Aksyon Ngayon” publisher Bonifacio Loreto Jr., 47; and executive editor Richard Kho, 59; a relative of one of the victims insisted that the shooting was work-related.
Loreto and Kho reportedly criticized a lot of politicians in their columns, “Bikol Express” and “Clear Shots,” respectively, in the lone issue of the weekly tabloid dated February 6 to March 4.
In his first and last column for the tabloid, Kho talked about the need to strictly monitor the number of ballots being printed for the May 13 elections.
According to him, a mayor from the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area won in the 2010 polls using excess official ballots given to him by one of his supporters, a Cabinet secretary.
The ballots were preshaded by the mayor’s other supporters and fed into a precinct count optical scan machine, allowing him to defeat his rival, a congressman, Kho claimed.
Kho was a reporter for other tabloids, “People’s Balita” and “Remate,” before he joined Aksyon Ngayon.
SPO1 Pascual Fabreag of the Quezon City Police District’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit said the incident happened at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday outside Loreto’s buko store on Pilot Drive in Barangay Commonwealth.
He added that Loreto, Kho and Rey Moreno were chatting in front of the store when they were approached by two men who opened fire on the victims.
Loreto and Kho died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds, mostly in the head. Moreno escaped without injuries as he ducked and ran away when the firing started.
Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered four bullet casings from a .45-cal. pistol and three others from a 9 mm pistol.
Kho’s daughter, Richelle Ofelia, told reporters that her father and Loreto were killed because of their hard-hitting columns which tackled dirty politics and corruption. She clarified, however, that the tabloid came out only once.
Fabreag, meanwhile, said that investigators were still trying to determine the motive for the killing.
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