The circulation manager of a local newspaper in General Santos City got killed after being shot by a still unidentified assailant just outside his office early Friday, police said.

Senior Supt. Cedric Train, city police director, identified the victim as Alfredo Velarde Jr., 42, circulation manager of Brigada News.

Velarde was brought to the General Santos Emergency Hospital due to bullet wounds around 5 a.m., but was declared dead on arrival by doctors, Train said in a text message.

The incident occurred around 3:35 a.m., while Velarde was about to enter the Brigada News compound along NLSA Road in Purok Bayanihan, Brgy. San Isidro.

Velarde was waiting for the guard to open the gates when the gunman shot him at close range, Edwin Espejo, chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) General Santos-Koronadal Chapter, said in a statement.

Velarde’s female companion, who was seated at the passenger side of the company vehicle, escaped unharmed, Espejo said.

Velarde is the first media worker from General Santos City killed after the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, Espejo added. (John Roson)

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