A correspondent for the tabloid “Abante” was shot to death repeatedly in her hometown Brgy. Tuyo, Balanga City, Bataan Thursday morning.
It was reported by radio station DZMM that Nerlie Ledesma, 47. was waiting for a public transport when she was riddled with bullets fired by two gunmen riding a motorcycle. She died on the spot, while her still-unidentified assailants immediately fled the scene.
Ledesma’s assassination is possibly the first case of media killing in the Philippines for this year.
Ledesma previously survived two assassination attempts in September and November 2011. Speaking to Bataan Peninsula Times back then, the captain in the barangay where the Ledesmas are living accused the family of being troublemakers within the community.
“Sakit nga ng ulo namin yang mag-asawang Ledesma dahil magmula noong tumira sila rito ay naging magulo na ang lugar namin,” barangay captain Conrado Tallorin said.
According to a December 2014 report by the United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Philippines is the third-deadliest country for members of the press.
The CPJ noted that most journalists were killed with impunity, citing the infamous 2009 Ampatuan Massacre in the province of Maguindanao where not one of those charged with perpetrating the crime has been convicted even after over five years.