Gregorio Ybanez

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An unidentified assailant shot Ybanez three times in the chest and once in the arm in front of the journalist’s home in southern Davao Del Norte province’s Tagum City. The newspaper publisher died the next morning from his injuries, news reports said.

Ybanez was the publisher of the weekly newspaper Kabuhayan News Services and president of the Davao Del Norte Press and Radio-TV Club, according to reports. He also served as a board director of the Davao Del Norte Electric Cooperative power distributor, reports said.

Police said they were investigating motives related to both his roles, according to news reports.

Ciriaco Cornejos, vice president of the Davao Del Norte media club, was quoted in news reports as saying that he believed Ybanez’s murder was more likely linked to his position at the power cooperative than his news publishing. Cornejos said that Ybanez’s news publication was “not hard-hitting,” but that he had received death threats at the height of a management conflict he was involved with at the cooperative in 2012.