Former AP stringer among 57 dead in Philippines | world | Hindustan Times
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Former AP stringer among 57 dead in Philippines

world Updated: Nov 26, 2009 08:11 IST

Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, a veteran Filipino journalist and former Associated Press stringer, was among at least 18 reporters killed in an attack on an election caravan, authorities said. He was 53.

The attack on Monday left 57 dead in the Philippines' worst election massacre.

Reblando and the other journalists were accompanying relatives and supporters of a gubernatorial candidate in Maguindanao province when they were ambushed and shot dead.

Media groups say it was the highest number of reporters killed in a single attack anywhere in the world.

Based in General Santos City, Reblando covered the southern Philippines for The AP from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. He was recently named a regular staffer for Manila Bulletin daily. Reblando covered the Mindanao Island region during a period of rising tensions between Muslims and Christians and rampant criminality, said former AP Manila Bureau Chief Robert H. Reid. "Reblando knew everybody in the area, from military commanders, to Muslim militants, businessmen and politicians," Reid said. "Even though he was a devout Roman Catholic, he had a large number of friends in the Muslim community, whom he could tap as sources." Aquilles Zonio, General Santos reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said Reblando was considered a "big brother" by his younger colleagues.

Reblano is survived by his wife and seven children.