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Newspaper publisher killed in Philippines

A motorcycle-riding gunman has killed the publisher of a small newspaper in the southern Philippines, police said Wednesday.

Colleagues of Gregorio Ybanez, publisher of Kabuhayan News Services and president of the Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club, said they suspect his killing could be linked to his other job as a director of an electric cooperative. Investigators said they are looking into all possible motives.

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The gunman fled after shooting Ybanez as he entered his house in southern Tagum city Tuesday night. Ybanez died Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. condemned the killing, saying police will bring the perpetrators to justice.

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Ybanez would be the 28th Filipino journalist killed since 2010 if his death is related to his media work, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

Boy Cornejos, vice president of the provincial media club that Ybanez headed, said Ybanez’ publication is not hard-hitting and local journalists suspect the case could be linked to troubles within the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative that the victim also worked for.

Radio broadcaster Rogelio Butalid was murdered in Tagum City in December 11, 2013. Like Ybanez, Butalid also worked for the electric cooperative.

Local reports quoted Ybanez as saying at the time that Butalid’s killing could be connected to management infighting at the cooperative, and that six other journalists had received death threats because of their commentaries on the issue. Associated Press/ TVJ

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TAGS: Davao Del Norte, Gregorio Ybanez, Kabuhayan News Service, Media killings
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