Slain Mindoro journalist was working on drug story | Inquirer News

Slain Mindoro journalist was working on drug story

/ 08:16 PM June 10, 2014

Nilo Baculo Sr.

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines — Slain journalist Nilo Baculo Sr. was working on a story allegedly involving a “big transaction” of illegal drugs inside the provincial jail before he was gunned down Monday afternoon in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, according to members of his family.

One of his sons and namesake, Nilo Baculo Jr., 34, said his father had accompanied a male acquaintance to a regional trial court in Calapan City Monday morning to take an “oath” regarding the alleged illegal drug trade.

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Baculo’s other son, Daniel, 23, earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer his father had gone to the provincial capitol to get “subscriptions” for his local newspaper. The trial court and the capitol are located in the same vicinity.

Baculo Jr., however, refused to discuss the drug case but said his family was able to recover and keep the pertinent documents.

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At 12:35 p.m., Baculo was shot dead by gunmen aboard a motorcycle near his house in Barangay (village) Lalud.

The strory Baculo was working on “may or may not be related” to the killing,” Baculo Jr. said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I’m just telling you what happened.”

Police said a 19-year-old male acquaintance rode with Baculo on his motorcycle when the newsman was attacked. The young man suffered a minor injury in the arm and is willing to testify on the killing, the family said.

The young man was interviewed by police but “he was still in shock” so investigators would schedule another interview, Senior Superintendent Ronaldo de Jesus, Oriental Mindoro police director, said on Tuesday.

The Oriental Mindoro police formed a special task force to solve the killing of Baculo, the 33rd media worker slain during President Benigno Aquino’s administration according to the count of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Baculo, who worked as a radio blocktimer and publisher of at least three local newspapers in Mindoro, was a media worker of 25 years.

“He was killed in the line of duty,” Baculo Jr. said.

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De Jesus declined to comment when asked if the alleged drug trade in the provincial jail was one of the angles investigators were looking into.

“We’re having a hard time because (Baculo) had earned a lot of enemies. We’ll have to do it by elimination,” he said.

Baculo’s sons said their father was very critical of issues involving anomalies, corruption in government and mining in Oriental Mindoro.

“But he did not receive a single centavo out of helping the poor and the small people,” Baculo Jr. said.

Baculo’s family appealed for a speedy resolution of their father’s killing but slammed the local police for “taking too long” in the investigation.

“It took them about an hour before a police line was set up to cordon off the crime scene,” Daniel said.

He also said it was the family, not the police, who recovered a bullet shell from the crime scene that might have come from the murder weapon.

The shell was turned over to the police but De Jesus said investigators were still “studying” if the shell could be considered evidence because investigators did not find any at the scene.

RELATED STORIES

Calapan broadcaster shot dead

Slain Mindoro broadcaster denied protection by court

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TAGS: assassination, broadcasters, Calapan, Crime, journalists, Mindoro, Murder, Nilo Baculo, Regions
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