Media killings during Duterte admin solved: Egco

By Mary Judaline Partlow

May 4, 2018, 8:15 pm

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental – Underecretary Joel Egco, head of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security said Thursday that all the media killings that took place during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte have been solved.

Egco made the pronouncement hereThursday afternoon as he and other Malacañang officials condoled with the family of the slain broadcaster Edmund Sestoso.

Speaking to the media briefly prior to a closed-door case conference on Sestoso’s murder, Egco answered a question from the floor on how many media killings had been solved during the Duterte administration.

“We have solved all of them,” Egco said.

“Actually, it’s not nine; the official records that we have show that Edmund (Sestoso) is the 7th” media practitioner to be killed during the administration of Duterte, and not eight or nine as claimed by other quarters, he said.

He expressed surprise where these numbers came from, saying that the Task Force does not just randomly make a count through Google or news reports but once it receives a report or hears of an incident, they would have it “investigated by qualified and seasoned investigators by the NBI and the PNP.”

“I’ve been in the media long enough. And we’ve been fighting for this (press freedom) for a long time so what the Task Force investigates are those with hard facts, evidence, testimonies,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that nobody has asked us about the status of the cases we are investigating.”

He also said, “Nasa amin po ang lahat ng data, nasa amin po lahat ang information, hindi po nasasayang ang pera ng gobyerno dito sa ginagawa natin (we have all the data, we have all the information. Government’s financial resources are not gone to waste with what we are doing.”

Those that have been hurt, threatened, shot but survived were provided security, and cases have been filed against suspects who have been identified, he added.

Unknown to many, between 2012 and 2016, 10 “media killers” have been convicted but nobody has reported on this, he further lamented.

“Pero pag may isang napatay, buong mundo sobra ingay (but if one is killed, there is much noise in the whole world) but if it’s good news, it’s tahimik (quiet),” Egco said.

He reassured that government will “deliver swift justice for the slain journalist,” referring to Sestoso.

Sestoso, 51, married, and a resident of Dumaguete City, was shot by two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle on Monday morning as the radio anchor alighted from a tricycle at his boarding house on Aldecoa Drive, Barangay Daro this city.

He succumbed the following day to multiple organ failure secondary to multiple gunshot wounds.

Sestoso was the anchor of the Tug-anan sa Power 91 program of DYGB-FM.

He is the first media practitioner in Dumaguete City to be killed in what many believe was work-related. (PNA)