National tabloid columnist gunned down in Masbate town

MILAGROS, Masbate —- Joaquin Briones, an active columnist of Manila-based Remate, a national tabloid, died on the spot after he was gunned down by riding—in-tandem suspects at 8 a.m. Monday in Barangay Bacolod here in Milagros town, some 26 kilometers southwest of Masbate City.

Chief Insp. Leus Anselmo Prima, Milagros chief of police, said Briones, 54, was on board a motorcycle and on his way home in Barangay Bacolod when shot on the back by the unidentified gunmen riding a red XRM 125 motorcycle.

Prima said the suspects fled in the direction of neighboring Mandaon town.

Briones came to be known in Masbate when he anchored a local radio commentary program called “Dos por Dos” over DYME station, a Masbate-based radio staion, that aired for some 10 years starting in 1996.

His brother, Jun Briones, is the publisher of Remate while another brother, Diosdado “Dadong” Briones, is also a local mediaman here in Masbate.

Prima said they are eyeing local politics and old personal grudges as possible motives for the killing of Joaquin but did not elaborate pending complete investigation. Norman Tamar/