Catanduanes guv, 2 others face raps over killing of journalist

MANILA-- The family of slain journalist Larry Que in Catanduanes on Tuesday filed a murder complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against three persons including Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua.

Que's common-law wife, Edralyn Pangilinan, filed the murder complaint at the DOJ against Cua and two other respondents Prince Lim Subion and Vincent Masagca Tacorda.

Pangilinan also filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman last February against Cua, Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes, and Barangay Palta Small chairman Hilario Sarmiento all of whom she accused of graft, grave misconduct and nonfeasance for their failure to crack down on illegal drugs.

Pangilinan noted in her complaint before the Ombudsman that Que investigated and exposed the issue in his newspaper before getting killed.

His exposes, unfortunately, went under the skin of one of his subjects, Joseph C. Cua, the governor of Catanduanes province, and were too much to handle for the latter, read her complaint before the Ombudsman.

Que, a columnist and publisher of a local paper in Catanduanes, was shot in the head by unidentified man wearing a bonnet and a raincoat last Dec. 19 in Virac.

The gunman fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice, according to earlier reports.

Que's case, is the first case of media killing under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The DOJ Secretary assured that justice will be served on Que and other victims of media killings.

In his column, Que blamed the negligence of local government leaders for the existence of the large shabu laboratory earlier seized in their province. He said the discovery of the shabu lab brought shame on the province.

He also alleged in his column that the laboratory was set up by Chinese nationals to help the Chinese residents in the island province.

The incident has reportedly caused fear among local journalists in the province who also reported on the said shabu laboratory, which is said to be the largest in the country.

Meanwhile, the task force on media killings is composed of secretaries of the Department of Interior and Local Government and National Defense, the Solicitor-General, the executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee, the chiefs of the military and the police and the NBI director.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said that the task force on media killing would not only focus on new cases, but will also handle unresolved ones from the previous administrations.

According to Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, at least 152 media personalities have already been killed in the country since 1986.

Source: Philippines News Agency