Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cop Tagged As Suspect In Killing Of Palawan Journalist

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 25 May) Philippine authorities announced Thursday the arrest of a policeman who was implicated in the killing of a broadcaster in Palawan province.

Authorities tagged Aron Gulifardo, a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Palawan province as a suspect in the murder of Fernando Batul. Two others were still being hunted for the killing of Batul on Monday in Puerto Princesa City.

The National Bureau of Investigation and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn confirmed the suspect's arrest Wednesday. Hagedorn earlier ordered the police to solve the murder of Batul within 48 hours and even offered as much as P1 million for the arrest of the gunmen.

“Initial reports said the suspect was among those hardly hit by Batul’s commentaries on the radio,” Hagedorn said.

Gulifardo was arrested inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City and would be taken back to Palawan. At least four witnesses pointed to the suspect as one of the three gunmen who shot the journalist while on his way to the radio station dyPR where he worked.

The policeman denied involvement in the attack. Batul is the 79th journalist killed since 1986. He is the 42nd journalist slain since 2001 under the Arroyo administration.

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