CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 November) — Just a day after the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity, two motorcycle-riding men shot and critically wounded a local radio station anchor and chief of reporters, on his way home after his program.
Michael James “Dacoycoy” Licuanan, anchor of Bombo Radyo Cagayan de Oro’s Zona Libre, was passing along Capt. Vicente Roa Street when two men aboard a red Honda XRM shot him, shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday.
Senior Inspector Elmer Robas, station commander of the Cogon Police Station 2 told reporters two men fired two shots at Licuanan.
The first shot grazed Licuanan’s breast causing him to fall. Robas said one of the two attackers then got off the motorcycle, fired at and chased Licuanan, hitting him in the left buttock with the bullet exiting through his stomach.
Both men were wearing full-face helmets and black jackets and had been tailing their target. The company security guard said he had observed both men outside the radio station hours prior to the shooting.
Despite being hit, Licuanan was able to run to a nearby fire station where he was able to ask for help. Policemen were later able to recover two .45 caliber empty shells at the scene.
The victim was brought to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center where doctors operated on him for four hours. ABS-CBN Cagayan de Oro reported in its news program this afternoon that he was already declared out of danger.
In an interview Friday, station manager Celso Ravelo Maldecir said that earlier on that night a suspicious-looking person entered their radio station “for about 10 minutes.” Maldecir added that one of his reporters overheard the suspicious-looking person said “kaya natin to,” on his mobile phone.
Maldecir said Licuanan has been commenting and reporting on the arrest of one Sammy M. Yusop by Phillipine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA 10) agents last November 22 at the parking lot of one of the malls here. The agents seized 1.5 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) from Yusop with an estimated street value of about P20 million.
Senior Superintendent Gerardo Rosales, city police director, told reporters they believed that the shooting of Licuanan is work-related and possibly connected to the issue of illegal drugs he was tackling in his commentary program.
“We have installed checkpoints in all of the city’s exit points and we also have the facial composite from the cartographic sketch of the suspect who went to the radio station prior to the shooting. Our SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operatives) has also investigated the crime scene,” said Rosales.
He added that the City Intelligence Branch and the City Detection and Investigation Unit are leading the investigation.
Meanwhile, Patricio Bernales Jr., National Bureau of Investigation 10 deputy regional director, said in an interview Friday that they will also conduct a parallel investigation of the shooting of Licuanan.
“I have deployed two of our agents to secure Licuanan while he is still recuperating in NMMC,” said Bernales.
In an interview, Cagayan de Oro Press Club president Santiago “Bobby” Goking said the shooting incident seemed to be taunting the call end to the culture of impunity.
“The shooting of Licuanan is a mockery of our call to end impunity especially since we just commemorated the International Day to End Impunity less than 24 hours before the shooting,” said Goking.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines-Cagayan de Oro Chapter and the COPC, in their joint statement, condemned the shooting incident and are disappointed by the “lukewarm” response of the law enforcement agencies.
“We call on law enforcement agencies to conduct a no-nonsense investigation to determine and apprehend the suspects and masterminds and remedy the perceived passive response of the local police,” the groups said. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)