Authorities set to file murder raps vs Mindoro radioman’s alleged killer
MANILA, Philippines— A case for murder is set to be filed “any time this week” against Isabelo Lopez Bautista, the alleged gunman who shot and killed veteran radioman Cris Bundoquin, according to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).
The investigation into Bundoquin’s murder is spearheaded by Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Bundoquin with Col. Samuel Delorino, Oriental Mindoro’s provincial police director, as team leader.
“Any time this week, I was informed by SITG Bundoquin ground commander and Oriental Mindoro provincial police director, Col. Samuel Delorino, that the case for murder is to be filed against the identified gunman, Isabelo Lopez Bautista, 45, a resident of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. At least two witnesses, according to the police, have executed their affidavits confirming his identity,” Usec. Paul Gutierrez, PTFoMS executive director, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bautista currently remains at large after he escaped the May 31 crime scene on foot, according to Gutierrez, “despite the best effort of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) to locate his whereabouts for about a week now.”
The media security task force assured the public and Bundoquin’s kin that the investigation “would not end” with the case filing.
“The task force reiterates that the probe on Bundoquin’s case would not stop with the formal filing of the cases against Bautista, based on the guidance issued by Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla during our meeting just hours after Bundoquin was gunned down,” he said.
Gutierrez added that the PTFoMS has yet to establish the involvement of at least three “persons of interest” before it can declare the case solved.
The PTFoMS director revealed that a provincial official that Bundoquin had previously criticized on air and who had previously employed Bautista as a driver “should also be asked to explain.”
“It is quite unusual for Bautista, whom like his cohort, (Narciso Ignacio) Guntan, were both described by the police as mere ‘helpers’ with no dependable source of income and most likely, with no ‘connection,’ can be roaming around armed with a .45 caliber pistol. He also appears to be familiar with the use of the firearm based on the manner he killed Bundoquin,” he said.
Gutierrez also verified that a P50,000 reward offered by a “concerned individual who declined to be named” stands for any information that could lead to Bautista’s capture.
Assistance from the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) headed by Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz has also been sought by the task force to hasten ballistics and cross-matching results of weapons and slugs from the crime scene that “could aid in the solution of other unsolved crimes in Mindoro and nearby areas.” These results should be available on Wednesday, according to Oriental Mindoro’s crime scene officer.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) boosted its cash assistance for Bundoquin’s family to a total of P50,000 on Monday— increasing its initial P15,000 cash and burial assistance by P35,000.
Meanwhile, the PTFoMS and the Office of the President provided P40,000 in cash aid.
DSWD Undersecretary Paul Ang said that Bundoquin’s family would also benefit from educational and livelihood aid under the welfare department’s sustainable livelihood program.