MANILA -- An active police officer who is accused of being the gunman in the killing of Dumaguete City radio broadcaster and blocktimer Mercedario "Dindo" Generoso has been arrested.
Roger Rubio, one of the four alleged suspects in Generoso's murder, was presented to the media in a press conference held at Malacañan on Friday.
Presidential Task Force on Media Security co-chairperson Undersecretary Joel Egco said Rubio, an active patrolman of Negros Oriental Provincial Mobile Force Company, was apprehended following the conduct of an intensified manhunt.
Egco said Rubio turned himself in before Lieutenant Colonel Judi Mar Bonilla, the commanding officer of Negros Oriental Provincial Mobile Force Company, around 6 p.m. on November 13.
"Following the gruesome killing of radio blocktimer Dindo Generoso, in the morning of Thursday, November 7, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, through Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, ordered authorities to act with dispatch in bringing his killers to justice," Egco told Palace reporters.
"This morning, we're pleased to announce that Rubio is now in government custody," he added.
Generoso, who worked at dyEM FM Bai Radio, was killed on November 7 while driving his Hyundai Elentra and passing Piapi village in Dumaguete City.
Rubio, the alleged gunman, was purportedly aboard a Mitsubishi pick-up truck driven by a certain Teddy Salaw and transferred to a waiting motorcycle driven by former police Corporal Glenn Corsame to perpetrate the senseless murder of Generoso.
Tomasino Aledro, the alleged owner of the pick-up truck, has been included in the Bureau of Immigration's look-out list.
Corsame and Salaw were arrested on the same day when the crime was committed. Meantime, Aledro is still on the loose.
On November 8, murder charges were filed against Rubio, Corsame, Salaw, and Aledro.
Lt. Col. Wilfredo Alarcon, officer-in-charge of the Dumaguete City Police Station, said Rubio was identified as the gunman, based on the exchange of text messages from the seized cellphone of Salaw.
"Doon sa cellphone, nakita natin yung conversation nila between Teddy Salaw and naka-pangalan doon sa cellphone, Roger Rubio, PNP (When we inspected the cellphone, we found the conversation between Teddy Salaw and a contact person named Roger Rubio from PNP)," said Alarcon, who joined Egco at the press conference.
He added that there was no conversation as to who was the target.
"Walang immediate conversation regarding ng mga papatayin but on the circumstance na, 'Coming na ako diyan. Papunta na ako diyan. Magkita na lang tayo dito sa area na ito. Dito na kami' (There's no immediate conversation regarding the killing, but it was based on the text messages that said, 'I'm on my way. Let's meet in this area. We're here')," he added.
Central Visayas Police regional director, Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, who also attended the press conference, said the involvement of Rubio and Corsame in the killing of Generoso is a "very isolated case".
Generoso was an anchor for development programs of the local government, including a controversial reclamation project that was recently stopped by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Egco said the motive for Generoso's killing could be either "work-related or politics, or both".
"Kasi itong si Mr. Generoso, ang kanyang program is a blocktime program sponsored by Dumaguete City government. Ang tina-tackle niya dito usually puro development programs (Mr. Generoso's program is a blocktime program sponsored by Dumaguete City government. He usually tackles development programs)," Egco said.
"So bina-backtrack natin kung ano 'yung mga binanatan niya, sino ang mga binanatan niya, sino ang mga posibleng nagkaroon ng interes, kung sinong makikinabang kasi mamatay (So we're tracing the issues or people he criticized, as well as those who have the interest to kill him)," he added.
Egco said investigation is ongoing, and assured that the accused will be accorded due process.
"Right now, it's still being investigated... We're still giving them all the right to due process," Egco said. (PNA)