Nerlita Ledesma

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Ledesma, 48, was shot dead near her home in central Bataan province’s Balanga City at around 8 a.m. on Thursday by two assailants on motorcycles who fled the scene, according to news reports.

Police recovered bullet casings from a .45 caliber handgun at the crime scene, the reports said. Ledesma died from wounds sustained to her chest, leg, arms and hands.

Ledesma was a provincial correspondent with the national Abante tabloid newspaper and a radio news anchor with Balanga City’s Power Radio, according to news reports. She was also the president of the Tagnai Homeowners Association in the Sitio San Rafael area of the city and had worked at the provincial capital, reports said.

Balanga City Police Chief Superintendent Frederick Obar told reporters that Ledesma’s murder could have been motivated by either a land dispute or her journalism. He said Ledesma had received anonymous death threats prior to the attack. Unidentified gunmen had fired on her family house over a year ago, according to news reports.

On January 13, the Balanga City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release of one of two men arrested for the killing, citing insufficient evidence, reports said. The second suspect, who remained in police custody, was also a suspect in the murder of the previous president of the Tagnai Homeowners Association, according to news reports.