Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Police trace gun used in killing of Palawan broadcaster

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 25, 2011) – Police have traced the gun used in the killing of a Filipino broadcaster in Palawan to a former provincial official.

But the ex-official, Romeo Seratubias, who was the former provincial administrator, said he had sold the gun a long time ago and denied any hand in the murder of Dr Gerardo Ortega.

Palawan Governor Abraham Mitra said that Seratubias had resigned last year to run for mayor in one of the town’s in the province. And that he had sold his gun and submitted documents to back up his claims, Mitra said in a television interview Tuesday.

Ortega, who worked for the Radio Mindanao Network, was shot in the head on Monday as he was shopping for clothes at a thrift shop in Puerto Princesa City, police said.

The gunman, Marlon de Camata, was captured as he tried to flee after the shooting, but his accomplice remains at large. Camata, who originally is from Taguig City, admitted he was contracted to kill the broadcaster because of his criticism of some people in Palawan.

Police said it is still investigating the gunman and would not say who ordered the killing of Ortega, a known environmentalist, who had criticized illegal mining activities in Palawan.

More than 140 journalists had been killed in the Philippines since democracy was restored in 1986, but most of the murders remain unresolved. In 2009, gunmen also killed at least 32 journalists who were among 57 people at a political convoy in Maguindanao province in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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