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Dragnet leads to freak death of suspect in broadcaster’s slay

June 1, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 138 views

A MASSIVE dragnet launched by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 4-B against the alleged “killers” of radio broadcaster Cresenciano Bunduquin on Wednesday caused the suspects to panic, leading to the death of one of the two as their motorcycle crashed with another vehicle while trying to elude pursuing authorities, officials said yesterday.

According to PRO4-B director, Brigadier General Joel B. Doria, he ordered the immediate dragnet operation to capture the two motorcycle-riding assassins who shot the 50-year-old Bunduquin at 4:20 a.m. Wednesday in front of a “sari-sari” store in Barangay Sta. Isabel in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro.

He said that in their haste to escape, the driver of the getaway motorcycle collided with another vehicle. As a result, the suspect, identified as “Narciso Ignacio Guntan,” suffered serious head and body injuries and died on the spot.

His companion-actual gunman, who remained unidentified as of press time, is still being hunted, Doria said.

The official said that two caliber .45 semi-automatic pistols were recovered from the possession of the dead suspect, whose motorcycle was also impounded. The records of the motorbike are being checked with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to give more clues to the identities of the killers.

According to Philippine National Police Public Information Office (PNP-PIO) chief Brig. Gen. Redrico A. Maranan, PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr., has tasked the PRO4-B to hasten the investigation and the identification of the perpetrators.

The PRO4-B has established a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to handle the investigation and gather more evidence and testimonies that will lead to the solution of the case,” Maranan, also the chief focal person of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), said.

Investigators from the Calapan City Police Station have been joined by agents from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the Forensic Group and the Intelligence Group (IG) in probing the deadly attack.

The SITG Bunduquin is headed by Oriental Mindoro Police Provincial Office (PPO) director Colonel Samuel S. Delorino.

“We are maximizing our efforts to get more pieces of evidence and testimonies in order to shed light on this incident and facilitate the immediate arrest of the perpetrators,” he added.

According to the official, local police investigators are already coordinating with Bunduquin’s family and his work colleagues to gather more relevant information.

“While his work as a media representative involves discussion of critical issues, we cannot fully conclude as of this time that the motive is work-related, but we are exploring all possible angles as of this time,” he said.

“We assure our media colleagues that the PNP prioritizes the security of those working in the media industry. The PNP Media Vanguards will directly oversee the course of the investigation of this incident,” the PNP-PIO chief added.

The PNP leadership has extended its sincerest condolences to the family and media colleagues of Bunduquin of DWXR 101.7 Kalahi FM MUX Online Radio.

It also welcomed the assurance of support by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) under Executive Director Gilbert Cruz in the ongoing investigation.

“We appreciate as well the cooperation of PTFoMS in offering a monetary reward for information leading to the arrest of the other gunman and perhaps the mastermind behind the murder,” it added.

The PTFoMS, or “Presidential Task Force on Media Security” headed by Paul M. Gutierrez, said that Bunduquin was the 2nd radio block timer killed since October 22, the 1st being Percy Lapid.

“Absence of evidence to the contrary, his death is now deemed ‘work-related’ to facilitate the investigation,” the official said as he commended Acorda and Doria for the immediate operationalization of the existing mechanism agreed between the PTFoMS and the PNP for such an incident thru the creation of SITG Bunduquin.

Gutierrez also commended the PAOCC for assuring full support to the PTFoMS in solving “this dastardly act at the soonest time possible.”

“While the driver of the motorcycle had already been neutralized, the actual gunman remains at large and is now the subject of a police manhunt. In this regard, thru the help of a civic-minded individual who declined to be named, the PTFoMS is offering a reward of P50,000 for any information leading to the suspect’s immediate arrest,” the official said.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, we urge our media colleagues not to engage in any speculation but to instead contribute to its immediate resolution by providing us with positive and verifiable information. Nasa ating pagtutulungan ang mabilis na resolusyon ng ano mang kaso,” he added.

“We are also reaching out to the family of Bunduquin so that other government assistance can be provided to them to help alleviate their suffering during this period. In this regard, the PTFoMS has already coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) thru Undersecretary Edu Punay so that prompt action can be taken to address their needs,” Gutierrez said.

“Moving forward, we assure the public that the PTFoMS, as a national inter-agency task force mandated to protect the life, liberty and security of all members of the press, shall not fail in its mandate,” he said.