Batangas mayor denies hand in Magsino slay

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SLAIN JOURNALIST Alwyn Alburo and Dabet Cataneda-Panelo, officers of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, speak to the mother of Melinda Magsino during the slain journalist’s wake in Batangas. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SLAIN JOURNALIST
Alwyn Alburo and Dabet Cataneda-Panelo, officers of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, speak to the mother of Melinda Magsino during the slain journalist’s wake in Batangas. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Batangas: Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha of Batangas City denied any involvement in the killing of Melinda “Mei” Magsino, after his name was mentioned in a newspaper report on Wednesday.

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Lawyer Erwin Aguilera, spokesperson and legal counsel of the Dimacuhas, said the mayor vehemently denies reports that he allegedly ordered the assassination of Magsino two years ago for P200,000.

Dimacuha’s reaction stemmed from a newspaper report about threats to her life, saying that Magsino talked about the bounty on her head on her in a Facebook post on May 6, 2013.

A day after Magsino was gunned down a few meters away from her house in Batangas City on Monday, a friend volunteered the information to the media on the condition of anonymity.

Magsino’s anonymous friend said Mei posted on her Facebook account saying “I need your help, Hi, May order na daw sina Eddie Dimacuha at brother nyang si Palos to kill Nomer Macalalad and me. Ang patong sa ulo ko ay P200K at P500K kay Nomer”

Palos is the incumbent mayor’s brother, Ruben Dimacuha, while Macalalad was the provincial information officer during the term of former governor Hermilando Mandanas.

“The Dimacuha family categorically denies any participation or involvement in the act. We can never participate in the killing of lives and the destruction of civil liberties. We have always dealt with critics and criticism with due proper regards to the bill of rights,” Mayor Dimacuha said in a statement.

Dimacuha, apparently, is one of the principal sponsors of Magsino’s wedding with husband Arnold Lubis. The two applied for an annulment until Magsino met her now live-in partner Benjie Reyes.

Media colleagues in Batangas described Magsino as a feisty journalist, earning the ire of some politicians in the province. After retiring from mainstream media, she continued her attacks against some personalities in social media such as Facebook and her blog sites.

Senator Ralph Recto has offered a P100,000 reward for anyone who could provide information that will lead to the immediate resolution of Magsino’s slaying.

The National Bureau of Investigation has started its own investigation on the case, even without any formal request from the victim’s family.

The Philippine National Police earlier formed the Task Force Magsino to handle the case together with other agencies of the government.

Magsino is set to be buried on April 19, 2015.

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