Politics eyed in Nueva Ecija broadcaster’s slay
CABANATUAN CITY—The police are looking into the political connections of broadcaster Julius Ceasar Cauzo, who was shot three times in the back by a lone gunman here on Thursday.
Cauzo’s killing took place during the heightened campaign over a new law that grants Cabanatuan a highly urbanized city (HUC) status should it be ratified by a December 1 plebiscite.
The slain broadcaster worked for radio station dwJJ, which is owned by the family of Mayor Julius Ceasar Vergara, who advocates for the HUC status.
Vergara’s position is being challenged by Board Member Anthony Umali, brother of Governor Aurelio Umali, who is opposed to the HUC law.
“We don’t have any evidence yet to pinpoint a very strong motive but we are working on various angles regarding the (Cauzo) killing,” Cabanatuan City police director Supt. Eli Depra said.
He said the question that they were zeroing in was: “Who will benefit from his death?’
“If it’s political, that will surely be reason for the defeat [in the 2013 midterm elections] of the persons behind [the killing],” he said.
Police said Cauzo had supported the HUC law and had engaged other radio reporters in debates on air, particularly reporters who opposed the move to elevate Cabanatuan’s status to an HUC.
Vergara had put up a P1-million bounty for information that may help police solve Cauzo’s murder.
Light Nolasco, president of the Nueva Ecija Press Club, said Cauzo was the second broadcaster of dwJJ and the third radio reporter in Nueva Ecija to be killed since 2006.
He said the police have yet to close the case of dwJJ program anchorman Ponciano Grande, 53, who was shot on Dec. 7, 2006 at his farm here. Grande was also a former columnist of a weekly newspaper here.
Four months after Grande’s death, Carmelo Palacios, 41, a Radyo ng Bayan field reporter, was found dead on April 18, 2007 in Barangay Mapalad in Sta. Rosa town. Anselmo Roque and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon
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