Suspended Bukidnon broadcaster is back on air

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 Jan) – Randy Makiputin, the broadcaster who claimed he was ambushed but police and witnesses later said it was him who fired on innocent people, is back on air starting last week with his daily entertainment program on DXGT Radyo Abante, after an “indefinite suspension” in November 2010.

Station manager Gordon Torres told MindaNews the complaint filed against Makiputin was not pushed through. “We have no reason not to reinstate him,” he added.

But Torres clarified that he verbally warned Makiputin not to involve in the station’s news and public affairs section more.

He will be allowed to go on-air for his entertainment program only, Torres added.

In December, radio station DXGT Radyo Abante announced they are 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.

Torres, a provincial board member, told MindaNews then that he had no basis yet to do “appropriate action” on Makiputin.

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 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.

Makiputin anchors the program Super Gitik (Super Tickle), which focuses on music and jokes.

Roxanne Mabao, administrative officer of Radyo Abante, said back in November that Makiputin is not known to be hard-hitting, although he claimed to have received death threats in 2008 and earlier this year.

In December, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Bukidnon chapter issued 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.”

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 follow-up statement saying the claimed ambush was “false.”

KBP-Bukidnon, in an email sent to MindaNews earlier, stressed that Makiputin’s claims were “fabricated and baseless” as the police later found out in its investigations. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)