A photo of Melinda "Mei" Magsino, a former journalist shot dead on Monday, taken from her Facebook account.
A gunman riding pillion on a motorbike shot and killed a former journalist in the village of Balagtas, Batangas City, about 100 kilometers north of Manila, on Monday. Melinda "Mei" Magsino, a former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, died at the scene of the shooting with a gunshot wound to the head. During her career as a journalist, Magsino, 41, reported on alleged corruption involving local government officials. In 2005, Magsino fled the province of Batangas and went into hiding for several months after receiving information that a top government official had ordered her execution. Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr, national police spokesman, said investigators have been ordered to prioritize the case. "[The police] will of course investigate this case, identify the culprit and charge him in court," said Cerbo in a statement released to the media. Police investigators earlier in the day said they have recovered an empty shell from a .45-caliber pistol at the crime scene. Since 1986, when the Philippines regained democracy, at least 173 journalists have been killed in the country, 34 of whom were killed since 2010 during the term of President Benigno Aquino. The government has been criticized by many rights and media groups, including Reporters Without Borders, for failing to bring to justice those behind the killings of members of the media.
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