Protection offered to family of gunman in radioman’s slay | Inquirer News

Protection offered to family of gunman in radioman’s slay

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:04 AM June 10, 2023

The killing of radio broadcaster Cresenciano Bunduquin in Oriental Mindoro province on May 31 sparks another call from the international community to stop “attacks on media” in the Philippines protection gunman radioman

Cris Bunduquin (Photo from his Facebook page)

The government’s witness protection program, usually offered to key suspects or witnesses of a crime, was being considered for the family of the suspected gunman in the killing of Oriental Mindoro radioman Cresenciano ‘Cris’ Aldovino Bunduquin if this could convince the suspect to finally surrender and reveal the masterminds behind the killing.

According to Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) executive director Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez, his office would be willing to intercede with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider entering the family of the still at-large suspect under the witness protection program.


“If securing the family of identified gunman, Isabelo Lopez Bautista, can help induce him to surrender and bare everything he knows, we are willing to take this route,” Gutierrez said in a statement on Friday, a day after meeting Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla at the DOJ main office in Manila.


Gutierrez said the P50,000 reward offered by a concerned individual, who declined to be named, would be given to anyone who can give information leading to the arrest of Bautista.

“But if Bautista voluntarily surrenders to PTFoMS, the amount would go to his family,” Gutierrez said, adding that Remulla was also “willing” to add a “substantial amount” should he turn himself in to the task force.


“For the moment, Bautista is the key personality in unmasking a possible conspiracy by some influential quarters in Mindoro to eliminate Bunduquin. His safety and that of his family is thus of paramount concern to the government,” Gutierrez noted.

Positive identification

Bautista, 45, a resident of Bansud town in the province, was positively identified as the gunman by two witnesses, according to the Philippine National Police’s Special Investigation Task Group Bunduquin.

Complaints of murder and attempted murder were filed against Bautista by the police before the Calapan City Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

Bunduquin, 50, was opening his sari-sari (retail) store on C5 Road in Barangay Sta. Isabel of Calapan when he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle on May 31.

He anchored the Kalahi News FM on local radio station DWXR 101.7 Kalahi FM and on online radio MUX and was described to be “hard-hitting” on local issues.

The other suspect who was driving the motorcycle, identified as Narciso Guntan, was killed after Bunduquin’s son rammed the pair with his vehicle as they escaped the scene. The getaway motorcycle and two cal. 45 pistols were recovered from the dead suspect.

Influential individuals

Based on police information, both suspects were workers in a local peryahan (town fairs that offer parlor games and rides during town fiestas) in Oriental Mindoro. Bautista had also worked as a driver and had done odd jobs to some influential individuals in the province.

The PTFoMS had earlier rejected the claim that only “personal grudge” was behind the killing of Bunduquin, and could be related to his work as a journalist.

According to Gutierrez, the emerging motives were the proliferation of illegal gambling in the province using the perya as a cover, as well as politics, since both issues were severely criticized by Bunduquin in his radio program.

Citing information provided to the PTFoMs by reliable sources from other government agencies, Gutierrez said at least three other individuals should be investigated—a police major assigned at the police regional office in Mimaropa (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan); a provincial official belonging to a prominent political clan in the province; and a “long-time, big time” operator of perya “with close link to many local officials and close association with the police major.”

“What our justice secretary wants to happen in this instance is that all possible motives and angles should be investigated and that, based on solid evidence, all those involved in the attack on Bunduquin should be identified and prosecuted,” Gutierrez said.

“The clear message we want to send is that the government gives serious attention to the life, security, and liberty of all members of the press,” he added.

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READ: 3 more suspects eyed in radioman killing

TAGS: Cresenciano Bunduquin, gunman, Oriental Mindoro, radioman

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