MANILA, Philippines?The Special Investigation Task Group Sumera revealed a 'breakthrough' on the case of the slain broadcaster Tuesday, a police spokesman said. The reward for information which may lead to the arrest of DZME broadcaster Marlina Sumera's assailants have also been raised to P450,000.
Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. relayed information from SITG SUMERA that they have linked Sumera's killing to another, citing similarities in the perpetrators' "modus operandi." He said that officers handling the case found similarities in the murder of Navotas village captain Edwin Abella.
Abella, who served as captain of Barangay (village) North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas was killed on March 15, 2011 by four suspects who "picked up the empty shells before fleeing the crime scene," Cruz said.
The PNP spokesman added that the suspects in Abella's case were part of the Partisano Gitnang Luzon (PGL) group, led by Carlos Alejandro who, along with suspects who were only known by their aliases Al Pilay, Rosa, Rene and Pangit, has been charged with murder by the SITG-SUMERA.
A murder case was filed against Abella's assailants last April 4.
Authorities tagged PGL in Abella's death through intelligence reports and after finding one of their leaflets at the crime scene. They have also considered an alias 'Ka Rosa' to be the common and lone female suspect in the two murders, Cruz stated.
Cruz also quoted Task Force USIG Commander and PNP Investigation and Detective Management Director Arturo Cacdac Jr. as saying that the authorities would consider the breakthrough as their lead in follow-up investigations.
According to Cacdac, the PNP raised the bounty offered for the arrests of Sumera's killers to P450,000, adding that "the bounty could go up to P500,000 as long as we can get the information that will led us to the masterminds and killers of Sumera as well as Abella."
Still citing Cacdac, Cruz stated that as seven tracker teams from the National Capital Region Police Office (CIDG) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) were working to solve the case.
An anonymous letter with possible information on Sumera's murder was also being verified by authorities, Cacdac revealed.
Sumera was gunned down while on her way to work in Malabon City on March 24. Investigators were looking into land dispute as the possible motive behind the broadcaster's murder as she also led a homeowners' association.