Army corporal among arrested for attempted slay of radio man

Insp. Miraluna Ortega, newly-installed chief of Kabacan Police, identified the suspects as Army Cpl. Alvaro Obregon of the 75th Infantry Battalion and Ronilo Quiñones, both residents of Barangay Osias, Kabacan.

They were arrested for the attempted murder of Alberto Martinez, a former commentator of an FM station in Kabacan, was on his way to his village in Barangay Osias on the night of April 7, 2005 when waylaid by three persons he identified as Obregon, Quinones, and one surnamed Araneta, the alleged mastermind.

The arrest, police said, was based on the warrant issued in April 2007 by Judge Francis Palmones of the Regional Trial Court Branch 12 based in Kabacan town.

Howeverr, the alleged mastermind in Martinez's slay attempt was not included in the warrant of arrest. The court said the documents presented could not establish probable cause to include Araneta in the charge sheet.

Ortega said Quinones and Obregon did not resist when arrested by her men inside their residences in Barangay Osias, at around 3 p.m., on Monday.

We showed them copy of the warrant for their arrest duly signed by a judge, so there was no reason for them to resist arrest,” said Ortega.

The court recommended bail amounting to P200T each for their temporary freedom.

With the arrest of Quinones and Obregon, the Martinezes heaved a sigh of relief but admit they still fear for their safety,

As long as they (the suspects) are still not locked in the provincial jail, we fear they might still use their influence to harm us,” said Geraldine, Alberto’s wife.

The Kabacan Police is still awaiting a commitment order from the RTC to transfer Quinones and Obregon from the station to the province’s rehabilitation center in Barangay Amas here.

Aside from criminal charges, Obregon is also facing administrative charges for frustrated murder and grave misconduct at the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices, which is based in Quezon City, Metro Manila.    

In January 2006, the case was forwarded to the Commanding General of the Philippine Army for the conduct of administrative proceedings against Obregon.

In an interview made by radio station DXND, an Oblate-ran AM station, few days after he was shot, Martinez said that what could have motivated the suspects from attempting to silence him were his comments on air about their possible involvement of drug trade in Kabacan.