Radioman's murder has 'good lead': Police

By Mary Judaline Partlow

May 4, 2018, 8:08 pm

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – Negros Oriental police has a "good lead" in the murder of veteran broadcast journalist Edmund Sestoso by two unidentified riding-in-tandem men early this week in Dumaguete City.

This development comes after President Rodrigo Duterte, through senior Cabinet officials who visited Dumaguete City on Thursday, ordered an early resolution of the killing of Sestoso and leave no stone unturned.

Sr. Supt. Edwin Portento, Negros Oriental police director, however, declined to detail the “good lead” to avoid compromising the investigation, but he assured that they are now gathering more details about the suspects.

Portento said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is “no longer facing a blank wall into the death of Sestoso” after some people have come forward to cooperate with authorities.

Sestoso was gunned down by two unidentified motorcycle-riding men while he was on his way to his residence in Aldecoa Drive, Barangay Daro, Dumageute City. The radio broadcaster from dyGB Power 91, sustained five gunshot wounds in different parts of the body. He died while being treated at the Siliman University Medical Center on May 1, a day after he was shot due to multiple organ failure and shock brought by his injuries.

Portento did not say which of the three angles - professional, personal, and affiliation - has the strongest lead to the case.

“This could change anytime and so I don’t want to say anything conclusive yet at this time, but certainly we have a good lead,” Portento pointed out.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran, who was with the Palace officials on Thursday, assured Portento that the NBI would forward to police all available information gathered to aid in the probe.

Gierran said Negros Oriental police remains the lead agency in investigating Sestoso’s murder with the full cooperation by the NBI.

On Thursday, Special Assistant to the President, Sec. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar, Sec. Joel Egco of the Task Force on Media Security, other officials from Malacañang, and Gierran, visited the wake of the late Sestoso and met with local officials, the PNP and the Philippine Army.

During a closed-door case conference Thursday evening, Portento disclosed that there were at least two major things discussed by the Palace officials, the NBI and others present.

“Sinabi lang naman ni…ng director ng NBI na as a matter of advice, kung sino man ang tatamaan ng kalalabasan sa kaso, dapat tanggapin ng lahat (The NBI director said, as a matter of advice, that whoever would be affected by the outcome of the case, people should acknowledge it),” Portento said.

While investigating authorities have not pinpointed a specific person at this time, there have already been early pronouncements from civil society and other groups, even through social media, of possible suspects or motives.

The murder of Sestoso was even condemned with a pronouncement that it was an extra-judicial killing, Portento said.

“We’re just speaking of angles, but we’re not speaking of finality as yet,” he added.

The case conference also discussed what Sec. Go had said about expediting the resolution of the case.

That is why reward money is being offered so that people will cooperate and issue statements that will further strengthen the case, Portento said, adding that the NBI has already released an artist’s sketch of the potential gunman, while the PNP also has its own facial composite sketch. (PNA)