‘Very influential’ pol seen in Davao journalist’s slay
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Friday said that Thursday’s killing of Davao del Norte journalist Dennis Denora appeared to be politically motivated.
Communications Undersecretary Joel Egco, PTFoMS chief, said in fact, a “very influential politician” could be behind Denora’s killing.
“The initial report we received is that his killing has something to do with politics,” Egco said.
“I can’t give the name, we cannot say it’s [the] official [finding] but a politician with strong influence is one of the [suspects] that we got from the ground,” Egco told the Inquirer.
Egco said Denora’s killing came as a shock because the slain journalist had not reported any harassment prior to the attack.
“We didn’t get any report of him being harassed, he was not on the radar, meaning, there were no past records of him coming under attack,” he said.
“He was an old man and the incident was shocking,” he added.
Egco said he would fly to Davao anytime to press investigators to come up with solid evidence against any suspect or suspects.
Denora, 67, publisher of the English weekly Trends and Times, died due to multiple gunshot wounds in the head after a lone gunman shot him as his car stopped at a red light on the traffic junction at Barangay New Pandan in Panabo City past 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Chief Insp. Frederick Deles, acting chief of the Panabo City police, said the victim’s driver, who suffered minor wounds in the hand, was able to drive about 300 meters in an apparent bid to escape the assailant who, according to witnesses, fled on foot after the shooting.
Senior Supt. Alan Manibog, Davao del Norte police chief, said all angles were being pursued to determine the motive in Denora’s killing.
Plea to Digong
He said a special investigation task force had already been created to probe the killing.
Denora’s colleagues expressed outrage over the murder.
Samuel Luzon, Davao del Norte chair of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, called on President Duterte to help the family of Denora and other slain journalists find justice.
Aside from being a publisher and columnist, Denora also had an hourlong blocktime program over Luzon’s dxKS-FM in Tagum City.
Denora was also the founding chair of Davao Region Multi-Media Group, one of several media associations in Davao del Norte.
Deles, deputy Panabo City police chief, said the slain newspaperman had no known enemies or threats to his life.
It’s media killing
“He’s known to be an amiable person. He did not also own a gun,” Deles said.
He said probers were looking into the possibility that the victim’s death could be due to the stories and columns his paper had published.
“That’s why we would request for copies of the series of issues of his paper so we could determine if he’s a hard-hitting journalist, or he might have angered somebody,” Deles said.
Jocelyn Clemente, chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said Denora’s killing was “counted as media killing.” —REPORTS FROM JULIE ALIPALA AND FRINSTON LIM
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