Police incompetence is too much, Mr. President!


January 9, 2012
Statement of National Press Club President Jerry S. Yap


Police incompetence is
too much, Mr. President!


            Lest, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III should know: A DOZEN IS TOO BRAZEN.
            The National Press Club could only repeat the call of justice and then anticipate another slaying coming.
            Thus, the country watched again while another journalist was killed. While it is the 12th since P-Noy began his term as the 15th President, the slaying of Tatak newspaper editor Christopher Guarin is the first for the year 2012.
Guarin was driving home his car past 9:00 p.m. of January 5, 2012 with his wife Lyn and 9-year-old daughter on board.  A motorcycle-riding tandem overtook them near their home in Sunrise Subdivision, Lagao, General Santos City.  The gunman fired, hitting him on the neck but not too fatal that the editor and broadcaster still managed to jump out of the car.  Obviously, he wanted to spare his wife and daughter from harm because the bullets were about to be pumped onto the car. The succeeding burst finished him off.
Minutes before, Guarin had just read during his radio program the death threat on his cellular phone that stated: “If you show up at the station tonight we’re going to kill you.” 
Perhaps, a few policemen or law enforcers could have heard the broadcast and could have voluntarily responded to the radio station to provide security.   No one came.
Just less than a month before, or on November 11, 2011, Brigada News Philippines circulation manager Alfredo “Dodong” Velarde Jr. was shot dead in similar fashion in the same General Santos City. 
Velarde was waiting outside the building complex of Brigada in Bayanihan, Barangay San Isidro when motorcycle-riding gunmen stopped at the parking lot and delivered the death bullets on him.
The case of Velarde has remained unresolved as that of Guarin.  If this is not incompetence on the part of PNP Region XII director, Chief Supt. Benjardi Mantele, then the NPC does not know what it is.
All that P-Noy has done, if there has been any, to fulfill the pledge to stop killing journalist, is clearly not enough.
That is, albeit admittedly he has so much efforts for plucking cases against the so-called “big fish” of corruption.
At the beginning of his term, he approved the proposal of the National Press Club to create a “Super Body” to specialize on investigating even age-old cases of killing mediamen.
This proposal rested on the theory that where it is difficult to anticipate who would commit murders, the only best weapon left is to ensure a very high statistics of discovery and apprehension of murderers for this will give fear to the would-be murderers to think a thousand times. 
But the President backtracked only to watch 10 more editors, broadcasters and reporters slain one after another—almost every month!
            So far, not one has been resolved of the cases of killing journalist that occurred since he took his oath on July 1, 2010 as the 15th President of the Republic. 
Professional gunners are plenty out there waiting for another contract to kill a media person; a woman or a man does not matter.
            Not one has been resolved because not one killer has been brought to the bar of justice. 
Why not one killer or hired gun has been brought in to answer responsibility is a substantial piece of evidence that THE DETECTIVE WORK IS NOT WORKING.  Or if it is, IT IS NO LESS THAN INCOMPETENCE.
            To think, the manner the death contracts were carried out is similar: all by motorcycle-riding assassins.
            Indeed, gone are the days for the “Sherlock Holmes” policemen of the Manila’s Finest who earned the reputation for crimes solved no matter how many years had passed.
            The cops now are complacent and incompetent.
They investigate half-heartedly and do it only on the days when the murder is still being talked about in the press. 
They do not dig deep like what was done in the investigation into the massacre of 57 persons, including 32 journalists (as the official figures at the moment), in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao. 
The cops and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), are just good at a sense of financial gain in the work they would decide to do.
            The 12 journalists killed since Day 1 of the term of P-Noy are as follows: 
1.      July 3, 2010 -- 75-year-old radio commentator and community journalist Jose Daguio was shot dead at 8 p.m. while having a dinner inside his house in Barangay Tuga, Tabuk, Kalinga.  The police claimed he was killed by known cattle rustlers.
2.      July 9, 2010 -- Miguel Belen, field reporter of DWEB FM station in Nabua, Camarines Sur, was shot at along Zone 3, Barangay San Jose Pagaraon, Nabua at 8:30 p.m.
3.      August 1, 2010Edilberto Cruz, publisher of Salida tabloid in Nueva Ecija, was shot in the evening while driving a motorcycle along Maharlika Highway in Barangay San Juan Accfa, Cabanatuan City
4.      December 10, 2010Edison Flameniana Sr., columnist of Mindanao Inquirer was shot dead on December 10, 2010 in Tabudok, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
5.      January 24, 2011 -- Dr. Gerry “Doc Gerry” Ortega was shot dead while inside an Ukay-Ukay Store in Puerto Princesa, after coming from his radio program
6.      February 1, 2011Cirilo Gallardo, 38, a broadcaster of DWWW Spirit 96.9 FM and a teacher of the Divine Word College, a resident of Barangay Velasco, Tayum, Abra, was found dead with 13 stab wounds inside his room at the transmitter site of the radio station in Barangay Bangbangar, Bangued, Abra.
7.      March 24, 2011Len Flores Somera was shot dead on the nape in Maysilo, Malabon City while she was waiting for a ride to her radio program over DZME.
8.      June 13, 2011Romeo Olea, reporter-announcer of DWEB-FM based on Nabua town, who is also a writer-reporter of Bicol Mail, a regional newspaper, was shot at 5:30 p.m. while driving his motorcycle.  The incident occurred in front of Holy Child Learning Center at the Iriga-Nabua boundary while on his way to report to work.  He sustained two gunshot wounds in the stomach of a 9-mm gun.
9.      August 22, 2011 – Niel Aranga Jimena was shot dead at 5:30 p.m. by two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle while the victim was driving his own motorcycle in EB Magalona in the direction of Bacolod City.  A native of La Paz, Iloilo City who moved to Hacienda Teresa in EB Magalona town was an anchorman at the defunct dyRP in Iloilo and dyAG in Cadiz City.   Moments before his death, Jimena was preparing to broadcast as a block-timer at dyRI of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), according to his friend Larry Trinidad, a reporter of dyHB of RMN in Bacolod.  Police said that a brief chase occurred first before the anchorman’s motorcycle fell on its side in Barangay 3, Poblacion in EB Magalona.   The police added that the victim appeared to be calling for help when he was finally gunned down.
10.  October 14, 2011 -- Datu Roy Quijada Gallego was shot dead at 5:15 p.m. on national the highway in Sitio Mamparasanon, Barangay Banahaw in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.  A Manobo tribe leader whose name with this indigenous group is Datu Bagtikan was the president of Bayanihan Council of Datus (BACODA) in Caraga Region at the time of his death.  He used to deliver commentaries and public affairs programs on air in Butuan City’s DXJM a.m. and DXSF in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.  His wife Elisa said that he used to criticize the neglect of the tribesmen by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). In fact, BACODA filed complaints against officials of the NCIP, Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
11.  November 11, 2011 – Alfredo “Dodong” Velarde Jr. was shot six times at 3:45 p.m. by one of the two motorcycle-riding men just outside his office in General Santos City.  The incident occurred while Velarde and his companion were inside his pick-up vehicle parked just outside the Brigada Complex Bldg. on NLSA Road, Bayanihan, Barangay San Isidro, General Santos City and they were waiting for the security guard to open their office.  The companion was said to have escaped unharmed.  He was the circulation manager of Brigada News Philippines at the time of his death.
12.  January 5, 2012 – Christopher Guarin was shot several times until he was killed in the presence of his wife Lyn and 9-year-old daughter at 10:00 p.m. while he was driving to go to their home in Sunrise Subdivision in Barangay Lagao, General Santos City.  He was the editor of Tatak tabloid newspaper and who was also working as a radio commentator.  He was said to be frequently receiving death threats, the last of which he even read during his radio program, which message read: “If you show up at the station tonight we’re going to kill you.” As is usual in other slayings, two men on a motorcycle tried to overtake them while they were near their subdivision, shortly after he fetched her from Tatak office.
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