The widow of slain journalist Jesus “Jess” Malabanan called for justice Friday as the special task group of the Samar police investigating the murder is eyeing possible motives and persons of interest.
Samar police public information chief Lt. Ailleen Velarde said three already lead but declined to disclose these so as not to compromise the probe.
Malabanan's widow Mila said aside from his work as a journalist, her husband was also helping poor farmers in Calbayog City whose lands were being taken away from them.
“I hope you could help me ensure that this case won’t die. Everyone knows what the situation is here in Calbayog City. I am appealing for help from the NBI, Crame to help investigate the case," she said.
Malabanan, a correspondent and stringer for the Manila Standard, Reuters, and Bandera, was killed by unidentified gunmen in his home in Purok 12, Barangay San Joaquin in Tinambacan District around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a party-list lawmaker condemned the killing of Malabanan as she called on the authorities to immediately resolve what she described as a"horrible crime" committed against another member of the Fourth Estate.
Rep. Rowena Niña Taduran of ACT-CIS party-list said Malabanan’s death was “totally unacceptable, especially at this time when the government has taken a pro-active stance to prevent violence against journalists.”
“I am shocked at how journalists are being silenced by bullets. Their courage stems from their desire to tell the truth. We must not allow violence to kill that flame,” said Taduran, House Assistant Majority Leader.
Mila, who said she was with her husband during the shooting, said: “We have a small store in the barangay. We were together but not too close to each other as we were waiting for the news. He was shot just below the ear.”
She rushed her husband to the hospital but he was declared dead on arrival in hosp[ital by attending doctors.