MANILA -- Three members of the Kapa-Community Ministry International (Kapa) were tagged in the murder of Brigada News FM radio anchor Eduardo “Ed” Dizon in Kidapawan City, Cotabato last July 10.
In a Malacañang press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Egco presented two witnesses who confirmed the killing.
The two witnesses, Renato Sardoncillo and Hilario Lape Jr., are now under the witness protection program.
Lape, a spotter during Dizon’s killing, bared the names of three out of 10 Kapa members who were in a meeting to carry out the plan. The six others are still being identified.
According to Lape, the three Kapa members involved in Dizon’s killing are Dante Tabusares (alias Bong Encarnacion) who is Kapa media coordinator for North Cotabato; Jun Jacolbe, Tabusares’ right hand man; and Jonel Herosaga, the gunman.
Egco said his office also obtained information that shows that Herosaga is moonlighting as a bodyguard of a local politician in Kidapawan City whom he did not name.
“Nagkusang-loob na si Mr. Lape na lumutang at mag—since siya naman iyong least ‘no masasabi natin, so far ‘no, siya iyong least guilty, siya iyong nag-qualify for state witness tapos kinuwento na niya lahat (Mr. Lape willingly presented himself because he is who we can say is least guilty, he is qualified as state witness and bared everything),” Egco said.
Egco, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the case would soon be concluded as soon as respective warrants of arrests for the suspects are served.
He assured that the suspects will be given due process and the opportunity to disprove the witnesses’ allegations.
100 percent sure
Madonna Dizon, widow of the slain radio anchor, hailed the PTFoMS for quickly identifying her husband’s killers.
“I am commending the effort of the leadership of Usec. Egco na kung saan ay (where) on the third day ng—after the death of my husband ay nagbigay na po siya ng positibong… kumbaga, pananaw ‘no sa kaso ni Ed (he gave us positive outlook on Ed’s case),” Dizon said.
“And of course, he has given us a high confidence na maso-solve po ang problema (that the problem will be solved),” she added.
Dizon said she was positive that the Kapa members were behind her husband’s murder since they have been receiving death threats days before he was shot dead.
“Yes, 100 percent po sir. Kasi wala naman po kaming ibang threat na natatanggap at wala naman po kaming binabanggang iba kundi ang Kapa lamang na operation sa Kidapawan (Because we didn’t receive other threats and we’re not hitting anyone except Kapa operations in Kidapawan),” Dizon said.
She said while she and her husband had these threats blottered, they failed to request for security.
“Kaya hindi po kami nag-request ng security noon, kasi nakasanayan na namin doon na talagang iyon naman talaga ang kanyang trabaho, pag may kagalit po siya ay tini-threat niya (We didn’t request for security before because we got used to those threats because of his job, when he makes enemies, he’s threatened),” Dizon said.
“Pero hindi po namin naisip na mag-asawa ay mayroon na po siyang kakayanan na gawin ito (But we never thought that they would have the capacity to do this),” she added.
Other witnesses urged to come out
Andanar said the witnesses were presented to ensure that they would be given government protection as they are being subjected to intimidation or other forms of threat by the suspects.
Moreover, the PCOO chief said it should also serve as encouragement to other witnesses in previous incidence of media violence to “come out in the open and help bring about justice” to slain media workers.
To date, murder charges have already been filed against the suspects as early as July 22, merely weeks after the shooting incident.
“The immediate action of the government on Ed Dizon’s case through PTFoMS is a testament to the Duterte administration’s commitment since day one, to protect the life, liberty, and security of media workers. It underscores the Duterte administration’s relentless and uncompromising stand to address the problem of media violence through the PTFoMS,” Andanar said.
Andanar said with the PTFoMS, the culture of impunity “is slowly becoming history” as more and more incidents of media violence are being thoroughly investigated and solved.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Kapa last June after the discovery of its illegal investment scam.
Under Administrative Order No. 1, the PTFoMS is tasked to protect the media from all forms of harassment, and to look into the killings of journalists. (PNA)