Thursday, April 26, 2012

Philippines: Accused gunman has ordered broadcaster's widow, two others killed, says radio exec

Source: IFEX

(CMFR/IFEX) - The station manager of a Mindanao radio station claims that a former policeman accused in the murder of broadcaster Dennis Cuesta has ordered the killing of Cuesta's widow and two others, including himself.

Alex Josol, station manager of dxMD Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) in General Santos, said a certain Jade Isa told him that former Police Inspector Redempto "Boy" Acharon had ordered him, Gloria Cuesta and Department of Justice (DOJ) employee Badong Ramos killed.

Isa said Acharon wanted to stop them from campaigning for justice for Cuesta's death.

Two men riding tandem on a motorcycle gunned down Cuesta, program director and an anchor for dxMD, last 8 August 2008 in General Santos. The murder trial was transferred to the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 139 from the General Santos RTC Branch 137 in 2009. It was archived in 2010 as Acharon continued to evade arrest.

In a 5 April 2012 interview over dxMD, Isa told Josol that he was present when Acharon and his cousin Kenneth Acharon plotted the killings in a series of meetings last November and December 2011 and February 2012. Isa said the Acharon cousins planned to hire a certain "Kumander" to kill Gloria and make the killing appear like a robbery.

Josol told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) that Isa revealed the information because he "felt guilty" that one of the targets is a woman. Isa broke from Acharon after the former's promise of employment in a government office did not materialize.

Josol has requested security from the Crime Investigation and Detection Group of the local Philippine National Police (PNP) but the PNP has not yet acted on his request.

Meanwhile, Gloria Cuesta told CMFR that she had written DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima and President Benigno Aquino III asking for immediate action on the issue and on her husband's case. She has also reported the alleged murder plot to the local police.