Reward up for information on Gensan journalist’s killers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 January 2012 17:09

Gen. Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio is ready to put up a reward in exchange for any information that would lead to the arrest of the killers of constituent-journalist Christopher Guarin.

The mayor, in a dialogue with members of different media outfits in Gen. Santos City the other day, assured she would flex her authority in helping solve the murder of Guarin, publisher of Tatak, which is circulated weekly in the South Cotabato-Sarangani-Gen. Santos City (Socsargen) Area.

Chief Supt. Benjardi Mantele, director of the Region 12 police, said there are indications that a “personal grudge” could have led to murder of Guarin and that it has nothing to do with his being a journalist.

Members of different press groups in the Socsargen Area and the chapters of the National Union of Journalists in Central Mindanao’s adjoining cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan and in surrounding provinces have urged the Region 12 police to investigate deeper on the real identities of Guarin’s killers.

Members of Gen. Santos City’s media community said investigators, until press time are still clueless on the identities of the suspects and their real motive for the gruesome killing of Guarin.

Guarin was on his way home Thursday night from work to his house at a residential area in Gen. Santos City along with his wife when one of two men riding on a motorcycle opened fire with a pistol as they got close to the victim’s vehicle.

Guarin managed to jump out of his car, but the pistol wielding suspect gave chase and fired more shots, hitting him in different parts of his body.

Edwin Espejo, chairman of the NUJP’s chapter in Gen. Santos City, told the mayor during her dialogue with members of local press clubs  that they are
saddened by the their city’s becoming a “dangerous place”  for journalists.

The NUJP-Gen. Santos City chapter said since 1986, 20 of their colleagues have been killed, 14 of them victims of the now infamous Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre.

Espejo said they are outraged by the spate of the killings, mostly still unsolved.

Antonino-Custodio, chair of the multi-sectoral, inter-agency Gen. Santos City peace and order council, has urged colleagues of the slain Guarin to help the police uncover the circumstances surrounding his murder.

Antonino-Custodio said it is up to the local police to recommend the amount of the reward she is to offer for the arrest of Guarin’s killer.

The mayor said she and all of the city’s community leaders are closely working with the police in solving the murder of Guarin. — Felix Ostrea