NBI eyeing ‘men in van’ in PDI reporter’s killing
MANILA, Philippines–Aside from the two motorcycle-riding gunmen who actually carried out the killing of former Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) correspondent Melinda “Mei” Magsino, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking at a group of men who were in a maroon van that was at the scene of the murder on April 14.
The men on board the van served as backups and lookouts of the killers who had waited for Magsino at the corner of the street where she lived and shot her as she emerged from her residence in Balagtas Village, Batangas City, according to Vicente de Guzman, the NBI acting deputy director for investigation.
De Guzman said the NBI had two separate footages taken from the closed circuit television cameras of a nearby shop that could provide leads to the identities of the gunmen and the men in the van.
He said that several witnesses provided a description of the suspects and they were now in the process of being identified.
“The focus is the identification of the gunmen so we can determine the motive and the mastermind,” De Guzman said.
“Although we could also be looking at a love angle, we also cannot ignore the fact that she [Magsino] continuously hit supposed corrupt officials in social media,” De Guzman said.
At this stage of the investigation, it’s still also not possible to say that Magsino’s killing was related to her work as a journalist, he said.
According to De Guzman, certain personalities who had been mentioned earlier, like the couple who were supposed to have owed money to Magsino, had been subpoenaed and interviewed by NBI investigators.
“Our team already talked to them and as of now they are not suspects,” he said.
De Guzman, however, declined to comment on other suspects’ names that Magsino’s family had provided, saying “it’s premature to comment about their involvement while the investigation is ongoing.”
He said the NBI also had the laptops and cellphones of Magsino and these had been subjected to forensic analysis.
Before she was killed, Magsino posted on her Facebook page that she had been receiving death threats and was being harassed.
Sen. Ralph Recto, who is from Batangas, had announced a P100,000 reward to anyone who could provide information that would lead to the solution of the murder.
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