Remulla forms special probe team for slain Kidapawan news reporter

By Benjamin Pulta

April 18, 2024, 7:20 pm

<p>Slain Brigada News FM Kidapawan broadcaster Eduardo "Ed" Dizon <em>(Photo courtesy of DXND Kidapawan)</em></p>

Slain Brigada News FM Kidapawan broadcaster Eduardo "Ed" Dizon (Photo courtesy of DXND Kidapawan)

MANILA – A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been created by the Department of Justice to handle the murder case of broadcaster Eduardo “Ed” Dizon after one of the suspects was acquitted, while another was granted bail.

Dizon, a radio commentator for Brigada News FM in Kidapawan City, was gunned down on the night of July 10, 2019. He sustained five bullet wounds and died on the spot.

In a memorandum, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he approved the formation of the SIT upon the request of Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) executive director Undersecretary Paul M. Gutierrez.

“After careful consideration and as Chairperson of the PTFoMS, I hereby approve the immediate creation of an AO1 SIT ED DIZON,” Remulla said.

Malolos City Prosecutor Aldrin Evangelista, who previously handled the successful prosecution of the suspects in the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre, was designated in charge of the SIT.

In consultation with Gutierrez, Evangelista is also empowered to designate other members of the SIT coming from all government agencies who are members of the PTFoMS in order to further strengthen the murder case against the suspects.

In his directive, Remulla reminded the SIT to regularly update his office on the development of the case and to conclude its tasks, and formally submit its report and recommendations within 30 days.

According to the DOJ, PTFoMS was belatedly informed that one of the suspects, Sotero ‘Jun’ Jacolbe, was granted bail and subsequently acquitted by the Davao Regional Trial Court last March 8.

The alleged mastermind, Dante Encarnacion Tabusares, aka, ‘Bong Encarnacion,’ was similarly allowed to post bail in the amount of P500,000.00 by the court last March 11, a week after his voluntary surrender at the Davao City Police Office.

During the hearing early Thursday involving Encarnacion, the prosecution panel informed the court of the creation of the SIT Dizon, with Evangelista expected to appear in court to represent the government during the next hearing scheduled on April 25.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez thanked Remulla for his “swift and immediate action” in creating SIT Dizon.

“This again shows that the government is unrelenting in pursuing justice for all victims of heinous crimes, especially the members of the press, regardless of when the crime took place. The creation of the SIT is one of the important measures the PTFoMS has adopted to bolster this case,” Gutierrez said.

He said the task force is also closely coordinating with all its partner agencies to gather more evidence and witnesses to the crime despite the lapse of several years.

“We shall be announcing the other measures we have prepared as soon as they are finalized. But our message remains simple and clear: Perpetrators of violent crimes against the media would face the full force of the law. It may take some time but justice would prevail in the end,” Gutierrez said. (PNA)