Journalist slain in Philippines after criticizing officials over drugs

A journalist has been slain in the Philippines after writing a column criticizing local officials for alleged "negligence" over an illegal drug factory.

Larry Que, publisher of the Catanduanes News Now newspaper, is the first journalist killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June; two others have been attacked and injured.

The Philippines is one of the world's most dangerous countries for media workers, according to a watchdog group.

Que was shot by an unidentified person on the remote central island of Catanduanes on Monday, Joel Sy Egco, the executive director of the presidential task force on media security, told CNN.

He died early Tuesday, according to a statement by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

"Que's murder came after he published his column, which criticized local officials and their alleged negligence in allowing the setting up on the island-province of a recently raided shabu [the local name for methamphetamine] laboratory that authorities claimed was the biggest so far discovered in the country," the IFJ said.

According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), a second journalist, broadcaster Jinky Tabor, who was a witness to the raids that discovered the lab, has received death threats.

Que had only been publisher of the newspaper for two weeks, according to the NUJP, which said he was shot in the head as he was about to enter the building that houses his insurance office. The column in question was published in the December 13-19 edition of the newspaper.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on authorities in the Philippines to establish the motive behind Que's killing and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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