Slain journalist working on several possible stories before fatal  shooting, says partner


16 April 2015

SAN PASCUAL, BATANGAS – Melinda “Mei” Magsino, the former Philippine
Daily Inquirer correspondent shot dead in broad daylight last Monday,
was working on “several things” before the killing, her partner said.

“She was working on several things…Hindi ko siya pinakikialaman. I
give her complete freedom in that aspect of what she wants to do,
because when I met her, she was already like that,” Benjamin Reyes,
Magsino’s partner of three years, said in an interview with GMA News
Online and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

However, Reyes could not disclose what the possible stories were,
saying, “I would like to let the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation)
do their job.”

The NBI field office in Region IV-A has launched its own investigation
into Magsino’s killing, as ordered by their superiors in Manila.

According to NBI-Calabarzon regional director Constantino Joson, among
the things they will look into are the contents of Magsino’s phone and

Joson said they are looking at “at least three” angles for the killing,
and they are not zeroing on Magsino’s journalistic work yet because
evidence may either point to that “or on something personal.”

Magsino was working as a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist,
while also helping out in Reyes’ chiropractic practice, her partner
revealed during the interview.

If her death is related to her journalism work, the National Union of
Journalists of the Philippines said she will be the 26th Philippine
media worker killed under the Aquino administration.

Cyber sleuthing

A day before she was shot, her posts on her Facebook account hinted that
she was being harassed by several accounts with a single Internet
Protocol address.

In a post on Sunday evening, she said that based on her personal
investigation, she discovered that the accounts were owned by a
councilor from a town in Batangas.

Magsino reported about then-Batangas Gov. Armando Sanchez’ alleged
involvement in the illegal numbers game, jueteng, in the province.

The Batangas City Police said they are looking at some angles, including
the victim’s social media posts on illegal gambling, a debt she was told
she couldn’t collect, and a love triangle.

Quiet wake

Currently, Magsino’s remains lie in a mauve coffin placed in her uncle’s
house, a rather quiet wake for someone who was vocal, particularly on
social media during her last days, and someone who made it her advocacy
to expose injustices and corruptions in her province.

The former PDI correspondent, who turned 40 last January, was the third
in the brood of seven, six of them girls. Both her parents had little to
say to her colleagues from the PCIJ during the visit, taking condolences
with quiet thanks before turning the floor over to Reyes.

Her mother accepted the copy of her works with the publication, and
expressed her gratitude to the journalists for coming all the way from
Manila to pay their respects.

Family and friends, mostly in white, sat down to mourn and to pray,
standing by the coffin to look at her from time to time. Some of them
shied away from being photographed, even when only their backs were
caught in the shot. “Mainit dito ngayon,” one of them said as she asked
for the photo to be deleted.

Reyes observed that the funeral parlor did an adequate job in restoring
the part along her right brow, where the bullet went through. But there
were burns on her hands, which he said she got was because the police
had her lying on the street for “almost three hours” where she was shot.

“We just wanna see justice done. We wanna get these people (the
perpetrators) off the streets because if not, they will keep repeating
what they do,” Reyes said.

Interment of Magsino’s remains is scheduled on April 19. — ELR/KG, GMA News

Andy Whitmore (Whit)
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, London, N4 2DA
Ph: +44 (0)775 439 5597
Skype: mantissa88

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell