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Press club president killed in Tagum City, Philippines; 148th murder since 1986 if work-related

This statement was originally published on on 20 August 2015.

The president of the Davao del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) was shot by an unidentified man and later died in hospital in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on 18 August 2015. Davao del Norte is 1489.61 kilometers south of Manila.

Also a member of board of directors of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) Gregorio "Loloy" Ybañez had just alighted from his motorcycle and was about to enter his house at around 9:30 p.m. when a gunman from a parked gray Honda Fit started shooting. Lim sustained several gunshot wounds. The assailant's vehicle, which according to sources had no plate number, sped away after the incident.

Pamela Gay Perales, vice president for print of the DNPRC, told CMFR that Ybañez was rushed to Bishop Joseph Regan Memorial Hospital where he was given emergency surgery but died at about on August 19.

Ybañez wrote for Bagting (ring) sa Katilingban (masses), he was the publisher and editor of the Kabuhayan News Services which had recently stopped its publication.

Ybañez is the fifth journalist killed in the Philippines in 2015. If proven to be work-related, the killing of Ybañez will be the 148th case of a journalist/media worker killed in the Philippines in the line of duty since 1986; his murder will be the 27th under the Aquino administration.

Boy Conejos, executive vice president of the DNPRC, believes that the killing might be related to his work as a board of director of DANECO.

DANECO had two factions, the National Electrification Administration and the Cooperative Development Authority. Both parties are fighting for control of DANECO.

Conejos also noted that Ybañez had published court decisions on the case in his newspaper.

Ybañez is the second journalist killed in Tagum City. On 11 December 2013, Radyo Natin blocktimer Rogelio Butalid was shot dead in front of the radio station. Butalid's program was sponsored by DANECO, the same company of which Ybañez was a board member.

The Tagum City police has created a task force to handle Ybanez's case. Investigation is ongoing.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Newspaper publisher murdered in the Philippines

    "Authorities in the Philippines should leave no stone unturned in apprehending the assailant and determining the motive behind newspaper publisher Gregorio Ybanez's murder," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. "With less than a year left in President Benigno Aquino's term, time is running out for his administration to reverse the trend of impunity in media killings."

  • Press Club President shot dead in the Philippines

    The IFJ said: "We express condolences to Gregorio Ybanez's family, friends and colleagues following his death. The safety situation facing journalists in the Philippines is deeply worrying and the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists across the country continues to weaken the Philippines' media freedom."

  • Second journalist killed in a week

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