Wounded Surigao radioman wants brains behind attack identified
SURIGAO CITY – Despite the cases filed against a teenager tagged as the gunman in the shooting of a radioman, his son and a bystander here, the victims said closure would only happen if the mastermind was identified and charged as well.
Police have identified an 18-year old boy as the gunman behind the June 30 attack that wounded RMN-Surigao anchorman Saturnino Estanio Jr. and his 12-year old son, JV, and bystander Allan Canibel, 52.
The suspect, who turned 18 on September 5, was arrested on a separate robbery case last month, according to the charge sheet filed before the Prosecutor’s Office on September 13.
But the elder Estanio sees no closure with the suspect’s arrest, saying authorities must dig deeper into the case to find out who ordered the attack and the motive behind it.
Although Estanio and Canibel pinpointed the suspect through a cartographic sketch provided by the police, their identification of him was tentative at best.
“I’m not 100 percent sure that he was the gunman because the events unfolded so fast,” said Estanio, who sustained three bullet wounds at the back but still managed to drive himself and his son to the hospital.
Canibel, a neighbor who got hit by a wayward bullet and sustained non-life threatening injury, agreed.
“I’m not really sure if it was him, but there is resemblance,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He disclosed that he identified the suspect based on a photo presented by the police.
“The suspect’s arrest should not give the police the excuse to stop investigating further, especially because the mastermind is still out there,” the broadcaster said.
The second suspect who drove the motorcycle used in the attack, he added, has not been found.
Estanio believes the attack is work-related, pointing out that prior to the attempt on his life, his nightly hard-hitting commentaries had touched on illegal drugs and illegal gambling issues in Surigao del Norte.
Estanio was the first journalist to suffer violence under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. The attack happened just hours after the new president was sworn into office. SFM
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