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Radio correspondent shot dead in Masbate, Philippines

A radio correspondent in the province of Masbate was shot dead inside his own store on the morning of Sunday 2 June 2013. He was 49 years old.

An unidentified gunman shot Miguelito Rueras three times at around 7:50 am, Sunday, inside his store in Pio V. Corpuz town. Rueras was a correspondent for dyDD El-Nuevo Bantay Radyo, an AM radio station based in Cebu City south of Masbate. Masbate province is some 730 kilometers south of Metro Manila.

Police Senior Inspector Rodel Arevalo, Pio V. Corpuz police chief, told CMFR in a phone interview last 4 June 2013 that Rueras died from a single gunshot to the chest.

Rueras had just been with a friend who happened to be a police officer when the incident happened, recalled Arevalo. Police chased the killer, who was on a black motorcycle, but the killer managed to evade them.

Nothing was stolen from Rueras's store, the police chief said, discounting the possibility that robbery was the motive behind the killing. The police are instead looking at political and professional angles to establish the motive.

DyDD station manager Valeriano Carillo was quoted in a report in the Manila newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying that Rueras did not report for the station during the May 2013 elections, since Rueras was a known supporter of governor-elect Rizalina Seachon-Lanete.

Rueras's family recalled that unidentified men were looking for Rueras three days before the killing, Arevalo told CMFR, but the family thought they were just friends of Rueras.

The police are working on convincing a witness to give information that will enable them to put together a cartographic sketch of the suspect, Arevalo added.

Rueras is the third media practitioner killed this year, bringing the total to 198 media practitioners killed in the Philippines since 1986, of which 130 were work-related. If work-related, Rueras' murder will be the 12th work-related killing of a journalist/media practitioner under President Benigno Aquino III's administration, which came to power in 2010.

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