Originally published on the NUJP website on 20 December 2016.
The publisher of a local newspaper in Catanduanes died early Tuesday (20 December 2016) after he was shot in Virac the day before by a motorcycle-riding gunman right after the publication carried a column he wrote criticizing the perceived negligence that allowed a recently discovered shabu (methamphetamine) lab to be set up in the province.
Larry Que was shot in the head around 10 a.m. Monday (19 December 2016) as he was about to enter the building housing his insurance office by a gunman wearing a bonnet and raincoat who then fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. He died 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The murder of Que has sown fear within the local media community, a number of who fear they might be the next target for their reports on the shabu laboratory, which has been touted as the largest discovered in the country.
One local journalist, broadcaster Jinky Tabor, said she has received threats after she acted as media witness during the police raid on the drug manufacturing facility.
In his column in the two-week old Catanduanes News Now, Que, writing in Bicolano, railed at the shame the discovery of the laboratory had brought the province and blamed the perceived negligence of local government leaders.
He also said it was likely that the Chinese nationals who allegedly set up the laboratory had help from Chinese residents of the island province.
Officials of Catanduanes condemned the murder of Que with Governor Joseph Cua saying he respected the newspaper publisher despite their acknowledged differences on many issues.
RAMIL SOLIVERES, NUJP-Catanduanes
NUJP Hotline 09175155991