Journalists in Sorsogon expressed dismay and disbelief over police claims it was the New People’s Army (NPA) that killed a former radio reporter on September 14 last year.
In a statement, the Sorsogon media condemned allegations made by Sorsogon City police chief Lt. Col. Benito Dipad and Sorsogon provincial police head Col. Arturo Brual that two NPA members killed broadcaster Jobert Bercasio.
The journalists said the police press conference last January 21 failed to merit praises and jubilation from the victim’s family and friends as it lacked credibility and plausibility and was even comical.
“That the police relied on a ‘walk-in’ witness who was not even sure of his role in the conspiracy should be a cause for concern on the credibility of the case,” the statement said.
The journalists expressed further incredulity when Dipad said the victim may have been suspected by the NPA as a government informer.
“Obviously, the police have failed, again, to check, despite its constant stalking, that as early as September 20 of last year, the regional spokesperson of the National Democratic Front-Bicol, Maria Roja Banua, had already made a statement that refutes such theory,” the journalists said.
The reporters revealed that the NPA had been a convenient escape for the PNP to attribute crimes to the NPA whenever they fail to solve them.
“[W]hen police attribute(s) a crime to the NPAs, it’s tantamount to saying they could not solve the case. It’s a subtle admission of utter failure,” they added.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said it shares the dismay and incredulity of its Sorsogon colleagues.
“We commend our Sorsogon colleagues and are one with them in insisting that the investigation into Jobert Bercasio’s murder be credible because what he deserves – as do all of our fallen colleagues – is justice, not made into a pawn for anyone’s agenda or the subject of cheap propaganda,” the NUJP said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)