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Retired newspaper editor gunned down

MANILA. A former business paper editor and Department of Finance consultant was killed, together with his brother, in an ambush by motorcycle-riding gunmen on Aug. 3 in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Michael “Mike” Marasigan, 60, and his brother Christopher, 50, died of gunshot wounds after they were attacked by suspects riding in tandem along Barcelona St. in Barangay Sta. Lucia. Christopher was driving their silver SUV. Police recovered more than 30 bullet casings from the crime scene.

Authorities are still investigating the possible motive behind the killing. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel probe on the twin murders.

“I am both saddened and shocked,” Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez said in a statement. He called on law enforcement officials to find and prosecute the suspects. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 78 newsmen have been killed in the Philippines – not yet counting Marasigan’s murder – most of them for political reasons or because of corruption. It ranked the Philippines as the 7th deadliest for journalists in the world.

Marasigan worked as editor for the English-language broadsheet newspaper Businessday, which later became BusinessWorld. When it launched its website in 1995, he became the first online editor-in-chief of one of the first digitized newspapers in the Philippines and in East Asia.

Marasigan, whose Facebook page says his most recent job was “to travel around the Philippines,” also worked as an independent video producer of travel and lifestyle channel Living Asia Channel.

The Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) condemned the killing of Marasigan. “Their violent murders aren’t just signs of the times but an indictment of the security situation in the country. If a person who has left his comfort zone to help the government through non-controversial work with the Department of Finance (DOF) could be killed so brazenly, how could anyone feel safe?” the group stated.

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