- Posted January 9, 2014 by
tagum city, Philippines
Davao Norte police still pursuing, knowing identity of broadcaster's killer
"The latest we have on the case is we have the computer facial composite (CFC) of the suspect," Davao del Norte PNP provincial director Samuel Gadingan said when asked whether the police is facing a blankwall in its probe and pursuit or whether it has already a lead on the case at press time.
He said that pursuing police intelligence operatives fanning out in various areas have been showing the suspect's CFC to people and as of press time "the identity of the suspect is still to be known."
"We are doing our best para ma-identify ang taong ito," PSSupt. Gadingan told members of provincial media attending the Peace and Security Awareness Forum for Media Practitioners Thursday afternoon held in Davao del Norte Capitol at Mankilam, Tagum City. The event was sponsored by Philippine Information Agency.
"Medyo mabagal ang pace of investigation," he added.
But Gadingan expressed hope that the killer would be collared by the police in due time, adding that "it is one of my prayers last Christmas."
Gadingan said that the CFC was generated based on one witness alone, baring that the police had initially drawn up many witnesses to the Butalid's killing but they shranked from cooperating with the police out of fear except one.
He said it is not only the police that is investigating the crime but also other law enforcement agencies such as the CIDG, DOJ, NBI and others.
He also said there is a CCTV installed near to the site of crime but it was useless as its lens was directed towards the building and not outside where Butalid was shot dead.
Gadingan expressed appreciation to the increasing of the reward money to P200,000 with the additional P100,000 put up by the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) under supervisorhip of the National Electrification Administration.
Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon first put P100,000 reward money from his personal funds immediately after Butalid was killed last December 11.
Mayor Rellon, in his part, said during the forum that he received many raw and still to be confirmed information about the location of the suspect since the killing of Butalid.
"All these information I referred to the police because it is their expertise,"he said.
Asked on the additional P500,000 reward money he pledged in his talk during the latest condemnation rally for Butalid's killing, the mayor gestured for yes.
The mayor vowed to protect mediapersons operating in his city.
On the other hand, police regional community relations chief PSupt. Filmore Escobal said that Butalid's killer and his mastermind "wanted to instill fear in the city" even as he called for the Tagum community "to rise up and help each other" in solving extra-judicial killings in the city even as Gadingan stressed on the need for public support in view of the usual few number of policemen.
The provincial police has recently beefed up the Tagum city police with 30 new young police officers to help Rellon in his peace and security campaign.
Butalid was shot dead by a gunman who had a waiting cohort driving a single motorcycle on standby.
The victim was about to board his own single motorcycle after he finished his blocktime radio program at Radyo Natin-Tagum. The radio program was funded by
DANECO-NEA. Butalid was considered as DANECO-NEA's spokesman. He was also a barangay kagawad of Barangay Mankilam, Tagum City.
DANECO-NEA has a long running sometimes violent conflict with DANECO-CDA that has been competing it for legitimacy and control of the electric cooperative servicing Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces.
Butalid was the third broadcaster slain in two weeks' time in last November-December which loudly reverberated in the country last Christmas season and pushed Malacanang direct the national police to make results over killings of journalists.
The Center of Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said that if Butalid's killing is proven media work-related, he will be the 22nd journalist killed in the line of duty.(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)