General Santos tabloid exec gunned down at work | Inquirer News
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General Santos tabloid exec gunned down at work

09:09 PM November 11, 2011

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—The circulation manager of a daily tabloid here was shot dead by motorcycle-riding assailants yesterday, according to police.

Alfredo Velarde Jr. was entering the compound of Brigada News, a daily with a circulation of about 8,000 here, when one of two men in a motorcycle arrived and started firing at him.

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Velarde suffered four bullet wounds, investigators said. Police said a .45 cal. pistol was used in the killing.

Authorities and coworkers of the victim couldn’t identify a motive for the murder.

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Ernie Gabonada, station manager of the paper’s sister radio station Brigada FM, quoted a female companion of Velarde as saying one of the men opened the door of Velarde’s Mitsubishi Strada pickup and started firing.

While also armed, Velarde was unable to fire back, said Rey Ombana, one of Velarde’s coworkers.

Police said the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) installed at the gates of the compound captured the arrival of Velarde’s vehicle.

The CCTV footage also captured the arrival of the two assailants.

But the area where Velarde parked his vehicle was beyond the reach of the CCTV camera and the actual shooting was not captured.

Elmer Catulpos, publisher of the tabloid, said he and other workers at Brigada were still puzzled by the attack.

He said Velarde had faced some problems, including a row with one of the newspaper’s dealers.

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About two weeks ago, he said the victim also reportedly punched a man inside a restaurant here. The victim never complained.

Catulpos said a few months back, Velarde was sued by two teenagers for frustrated murder.

Despite the incidents, Catulpos said workers at Brigada could not say with certainty what the motive could be for the murder.

Merlyn Velarde, the victim’s estranged wife, said she last saw her husband on Oct. 28.

“I left our conjugal home to avoid making things worse,” she said. Aquiles Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Crime, Media, Murder
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