BY Mindaneo Examiner

Journalist killed in the Philippines

A lone gunman shot dead a female journalist in a daring attack Thursday in Bataan province just outside Manila in the Philippines, media groups reported.

Both the National Press Club (NPC) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned the murder of 48-year old Nerlita Ledesma, who was writing for Abante, one of the country’s biggest newspapers.

The motive of the murder is still unknown.

“We condemn the latest attack on another female member of the press, Nerlita T. Ledesma, of Balanga City this morning. Nerlie, 48, was gunned down in Barangay Cuyo at 8 a.m. as she prepared to report for work. We demand no less than the capture of her attacker and all those who may have planned the hit,” said NPC president, Joel Egco.

He said the attack on Ledesma, who was also local radio personality, is the latest addition to the growing number of journalists who were either maimed or killed under the regime of President Benigno Aquino.

“The incident reminds us of last year’s killing of Rubylita Garcia in Cavite province, where police investigators have allegedly bungled their investigation by “inventing” suspects in the murder. Several months after the killing, justice remains elusive for Rubie and members of her family, who are under government protection,” Egco said.

“We also lament the fact that the shooting of Nerlie Ledesma, which we consider an affront to press freedom, came a day short of our scheduled dialogue with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima regarding the NPC’s role in the Interagency Task Force on Extrajudicial Killings, including media killings, under Administrative Order 35. Ledesma’s case will be the first to be acted upon as the NPC officially assumes its role and clarifies its tasks in the committee,” he added.

NUJP said Ledesma was shot in the village of Tuyo in San Rafael town by a masked man, who escaped on a motorcycle. It said Ledesma was waiting for a ride on her way to work when the gunman shoot her four times in the chest with a .45-caliber pistol.

It said 30 journalists had been killed under Aquino’s watch.

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