‘More a banker than a newsman’
ALICIA, Isabela–Police said the bank manager who was shot and killed by two gunmen in this town on Friday was more involved in banking than with the local media, for which he edited and wrote a column for a defunct newspaper in the province.
Senior Supt. Jimmy Rivera, Isabela police director, said the police task force formed to investigate the murder of Johnson Pascual, 52, manager of the First Isabela Cooperative Bank (Ficobank) branch in Maddela, Quirino, described him editor and columnist of Prime News from 2008 until it folded in May 2010.
Pascual was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle at 7:30 a.m. on Friday along the national highway in Barangay Rizaluna here.
“We discovered from our investigation that he had been more of a banker than a journalist,” Rivera said.
Asked whether Pascual’s murder might be related to his work as a media practitioner, Rivera said: “It is too early to tell but we have been looking into leads that we cannot divulge yet.”
He said most of the columns that Pascual wrote were positive commentaries.
He said Prime News was set up by Jimmy Padernilla, Ficobank security officer. Its editorial and business offices were located in Barangay Minante Uno in Cauayan City, near the Ficobank corporate center.
It was established as a monthly newspaper in 2008 but closed shop in May 2010 due to differences among the staff members.
Rivera said Pascual also used to write a twice monthly column for the Quirino Today, a newspaper based in nearby Quirino province.
Flordelino Almazan, chair of the Ficobank board, said Pascual had been working with the bank for the past 10 years. Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon
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