Tabloid columnist shot dead in Masbate
LEGAZPI CITY—A tabloid columnist based in Masbate province was shot and killed by two men in Milagros town on Monday, reports reaching the Bicol regional police here said.
Reports said Joaquin Briones, 54, a columnist of Metro Manila-based tabloid Remate, was driving his motorcycle in Barangay Bacolod, Milagros town at 8:30 a.m. when he was attacked by gunmen on another motorcycle, said Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol police spokesperson.
Calubaquib said Briones, also a former radio commentator in Masbate and known as “Dos,” died from bullet wounds in the back.
Police said the gunmen fled toward the neighboring town of Mandaon.
Briones was known for his hard-hitting blocktime radio program, “Dos por Dos,” which aired over local radio station dyME in Masbate City until 2012.
He was also the former president of Masbate Tri-Media Association.
Briones ran but lost for councilor of Milagros town in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Briones was convicted in 2000 to more than 12 years in jail for libel. It said Briones was granted parole after serving almost half his sentence in 2005.
Records from NUJP showed that Briones was the third Masbate journalist murdered since 2003, after Nelson Nedura, who was killed on Dec. 2 that year, and Antonio Castillo, who was slain on June 12, 2009.
Briones’ murder came almost three months after Larry Que, publisher of the local paper Catanduanes News Now, was shot and killed by a lone gunman in Virac town in Catanduanes province. —WITH REPORTS FROM MICHAEL B. JAUCIAN AND REY ANTHONY OSTRIA
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