Capiz gov dangles cash reward for tipsters in Pilar town administrator’s slay
ILOILO CITY –– Capiz Gov. Esteban Evan Contreras has offered a P100,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers of former journalist and municipal administrator John Heredia.
Contreras offered the bounty when he visited the wake of Heredia in Roxas City, the provincial capital.
A lone gunman repeatedly shot Heredia on May 2 as the victim was about to board his vehicle in front of a hardware store in Barangay Lawa-an in Roxas City.
The gunman fled on board a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. Both suspects were seen in security camera footage wearing a face mask and a hooded sweatshirt.
Heredia, municipal administrator of Pilar town, died from multiple gunshot wounds, including in the head.
Investigators are still determining the motive behind the attack and the identities of the perpetrator. The Philippine National Police in Capiz has formed an investigation task force.
His wife, lawyer Criselda Azarcon-Heredia, has cried for justice. She has not issued a statement but earlier said she would let the police investigation take its course.
Friends and colleagues of Heredia are calling for justice and a speedy resolution of his murder that had shaken the laid-back city.
“We are grieving and we are still in shock,” Eduardo Basilonia, a close friend and former media colleague, told the INQUIRER.
Basilonia said Heredia was among the highly respected journalists in the province.
“He was loved in the community because he was helpful and generous,” he said.
Top local officials also decried the killing of Heredia.
“The Capiz Provincial Government denounced, in no uncertain terms, the brutal and treacherous murder of John Heredia. Such vicious acts of violence have no place in a civilized society…,” Contreras said in a statement.
Contreras said he has directed the Philippine National Police in the province to conduct a “thorough investigation” on the killing “so that the perpetrators of this most heinous crime be brought to justice (at) the soonest possible time.”
Roxas City Mayor Ronnie Dadivas also condemned the killing of Heredia which he called an “atrocity.”
“We urge law enforcement agencies to conduct thorough, impartial, and immediate action…so we can bring the perpetrators…to justice,” Dadivas said in a statement.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas called for justice for Heredia as he expressed solidarity with his family and residents of Pilar.
Heredia was a long-time journalist in Roxas City before he became a municipal administrator. He produced and hosted the cable television program Abri Aga and wrote for community papers.
Heredia was also a former national director and chair of the Capiz chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
In a joint statement, the NUJP-Capiz and Capiz Tri-Media Association also called for justice as they condemned the killing of Heredia.
Heredia’s former media colleagues remembered him as soft-spoken and good-natured who readily helped and stood by fellow journalists.
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