The Presidential Task Force on Media Security on Thursday reported that murder charges have been filed against all three suspects in the killing of Eduardo Dizon, an anchor of Brigada News FM in Kidapawan City.
PTFoMS executive director, Undersecretary Joel Egco, said the case was filed on Wednesday, just as PTFoMS member-agencies and media observers were holding their regular meeting in Malacañang.
Mariam April Mastura-Linsangan, acting city prosecutor of Kidapawan City, filed the information for the crime of murder before the Regional Trial Court of Kidapawan City docketed as Criminal Case No. 5281-2019.
Indicted were Junell Jane Andagkit Poten alias Junell Gerozaga; Sotero Jacolbe Jr. alias Jun Jacolbe; and Dante Encarnacion Tabusares alias Bong Encarnacion.
Tabusares and Jacolbe are both local broadcasters.
“The three, acting in conspiracy with treachery and evident premeditation, planned to kill Dizon, who was shot several times and died last July 10,” the PTFoMS said in an update.
In the PTFoMS statement, it said Mastura-Linsangan conducted the required preliminary investigation and personally examined Madonna Dizon, the wife of the victim and the principal complainant and her witnesses that there was reasonable ground to believe that the crime had been committed, and the accused were probably guilty and when convicted of murder after due process, has a penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Mastura-Linsangan also narrated that respondent Gerozaga, the alleged gunman, filed a motion for extension of time to submit counter-affidavit but no counter-affidavit was filed on the agreed time, thus, the complaint was later on resolved.
“It’s a cliché that the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, but this Dizon murder case is an exception,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, who co-chairs PTFoMS.
“For the nth time, the Duterte government has proven that we will be relentless in pursuing the perpetrators behind media violence,” he added.
“We at the Task Force are enforcing a direct order from the President, that is, to go after the evil-doers behind these criminal acts against media men without fear or favor—as there are no sacred cows in this administration,” Egco said.
The PTFoMS also reported that Hilario Cavan Lapi Jr., who was admitted to the Witness Protection Program, was likewise granted a certificate of admission by the Department of Justice.
Lapi was originally named as respondent for acting as lookout during the commission of the crime.
“The city prosecutor has given ‘full faith and credit’ on the said WPP Certification and therefore did not include Lapi being a state witness in the criminal complaint filed against the three suspects in the killing of Dizon,” the PTFoMS said.