PTFoMS: New witnesses boost case in 2019 radio broadcaster's killing

By Benjamin Pulta

May 16, 2024, 4:55 pm

MANILA – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Thursday said its case against those involved in the killing of Mindanao-based radio broadcaster, Eduardo ‘Ed’ Dizon in 2019 has been boosted by the appearance of new witnesses.

In a statement, the PTFoMS said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the case led by prosecutor Aldrin Evangelista has decided to transfer another witness to Manila under the Witness Protection Program and a possible Manila hearing.

PTFoMS Executive Director Undersecretary Paul M. Gutierrez said alleged gunman Junell Jane Andagkit Poten, aka Junell Gerozaga might opt to cooperate and confess in exchange for a potentially shorter jail term, or remain in jail for the rest of his life.

“We have new witnesses, including members of the local police, who can identify Gerozaga as the gunman who shot dead Dizon that fateful night of July 10, 2019,” Gutierrez said. “If Gerozaga thinks it would be best for him to just remain silent, he is utterly mistaken.”

Gutierrez also expressed gratitude for the full cooperation between members of the SIT composed of regional and local police officers in Regions 11 and 12, regional and local prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) thru the 10TH Infantry Division, and Task Force Davao.

“With this level of cooperation where all member agencies of the PTFoMS are working closely together in achieving our common goal of delivering justice to victims of heinous crimes, our hope is high that the case of Dizon would prosper in court,” Gutierrez added.

Dizon, 58, broadcaster of Brigada News FM in Kidapawan, was driving his car heading for home when he was ambushed, killing him instantly.

Gerozaga, 33, was identified as the gunman in the killing. He was arrested in Bgy. Saguing, Makilala, Cotabato on May 2, 2024.

One of the suspects, Sotero ‘Jun’ Jacolbe, voluntarily surrendered but 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 PHP 500,000.00 last March 11, a week after his voluntary surrender at the Davao City Police Office.

Gutierrez noted that Davao Regional Trial Court Branch 16 presiding judge, Hon. Emmanuel Carpio, who acquitted Jacolbe, and who also granted bail to Encarnacion, had already inhibited himself from further hearing the case of Encarnacion on the motion of SIT Dizon. (PNA)