MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/3 Dec) – The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Bukidnon chapter issued Friday an advisory to its members “strongly reminding” them to “conduct themselves within the ethical standards set by the KBP whether in or out of the line of duty.”
The advisory was issued by the group after one of its members, Randy Makiputin of Radyo Abante in Maramag town, at first claimed he was ambushed in neighboring Valencia City on Nov. 26. But subsequent police investigations eventually showed he was drunk while driving his motorcycle and bumped into someone. He then drew his gun and fired, but missed, towards innocent people, the same people Makiputin accused of ambushing him.
Makiputin’s initial claims alarmed the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, who immediately issued an alert on the alleged ambush. But NUJP later issued a followup statement saying the claimed ambush was “false.”
KBP-Bukidnon, in an email sent to MindaNews, stressed that Makiputin’s claims were “fabricated and baseless” as the police later found out in its investigations.
The group said, too, they will let authorities ascertain if Makiputin has the necessary permits to carry a gun.
As of Wednesday, Makiputin’s employer, radio station DXGT Radyo Abante, said it is standing by its employee’s version of the story that he was the victim and not the suspect. The persons Makiputin accused of ambushing him have come out and filed their affidavits, turning the tables on the broadcaster.
Provincial board member Gordon Torres, owner of the radio station, told MindaNews that he has no basis yet to do “appropriate action” on Makiputin.
He added, however, that aside from the police investigation, he has also ordered an in-house investigation on the incident.
“We will be ready for a management decision in 10 days,” he said last Wednesday. He said he is awaiting his copy of the police investigation.
Torres confirmed that Makiputin was advised to go on an indefinite leave “for his safety.”
He added that he respects the process pursued by the witnesses but he has to wait for the results of the investigations.
Makiputin claimed four unidentified suspects were trailing him on his way home on the night of Nov. 26, then he was shot with an unknown weapon.
But four people filed an affidavit a day after, reversing his story. Instead of being the target of an ambush, the witnesses said Makiputin was the one who fired a gun but missed.
Rene Saligumba and Pablito Malang said it was Makiputin who fired at them after his motorcycle crashed when it hit Saligumba’s bag. The two were aboard a motorela with two students when the incident happened.
The two students of San Agustin Institute of Technology also filed their affidavits corroborating Saligumba and Malang’s statement.
Sr. Supt. Nerio Bermudo, Bukidnon police director, told MindaNews they will submit a complaint against Makiputin but that it would be up to the prosecutor’s office to determine the appropriate charges to be filed.
Makiputin anchors the program Super Gitik (Super Tickle) which focuses on music and jokes.
Roxanne Mabao, administrative officer of Radyo Abante, said Makiputin is not known to be hard-hitting, although he claimed to have received death threats in 2008 and earlier this year. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)