Suspect in killing of Ozamis City broadcaster arrested

August 28, 2019, 10:20 pm

MANILA – A suspect in the killing of DXOC-Ozamiz City anchorman Cosme Maestrado was arrested in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, the PTFoMS said joint operatives of San Juan Del Monte Police Station, Bulacan Provincial Police Office, Regional Intelligence Unit-National Capital Region, and Police Regional Office Region 10 have arrested Gregie Azcona on Aug. 15, 2019 in Barangay Sta. Cruz, San Jose del Monte.

Azcona’s arrest was based on two warrants of arrest issued by Judge Salome F. Dungog of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Ozamiz City Branch 35 for the crime of murder and by Judge Edmundo P. Pintac of RTC Ozamiz City Branch 15 for the crime of robbery.

Maestrado was reportedly killed by unidentified assailants in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental on Aug. 27, 2015.

The PTFoMS considered the arrest of Azcona as another accomplishment in its efforts to solve media killings.

The arrest of Azcona, it added, happened on the same day that the mastermind behind the murder of Kidapawan broadcaster Eduardo Dizon was named and charged through the efforts of PTFoMS.

“The arrest of Gregie Azcona and the other achievements of the PTFoMS concretize what I promised when I first took over as chair of the Task Force,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

“We will bring our enemies to justice or we will bring justice to our enemies; either way, justice will be served,” he added.

For his part, PTFoMS co-chair, Communication Secretary Martin Andanar said the Task Force’s mandate is to closely monitor all the media killing cases even those that happened during the previous administrations.

“This murder of Maestrado in 2015 occurred even before the Task Force was created in 2016, but the PTFoMS Staff, through the leadership of Usec (Joel) Egco, never wavered in its commitment to follow up and update the law enforcers assigned to the case,” Andanar said.

Andanar commended the police operatives who are “up to now are steadily tracking down and pursuing the suspects who are still at large in cases of media killings."

“We cannot stop and we will not stop until all the cases that we are monitoring have been resolved”, PTFoMS Executive Director Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said.

“We are seriously carrying out the marching orders from our Chair and Co-Chair to end the perceived ‘culture of impunity’ for journalists in our country,” he added.

Azcona is currently detained at the San Jose Del Monte CPS Bulacan PPO Custodial Facility for proper disposition. (PR)