Police on probe of Licuanan case: We’re giving our best efforts

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 December) — Police authorities today assured the local media, civil society groups and church leaders they have given their “best efforts” in the investigation of the slay try on dxIF chief of reporters Michael James “Bombo James Dacoycoy” Licuanan and that “failure is not an option” for them.

Senior Supt. Lyndel Desquitado, police deputy regional director for operations made the assurance during the dialogue at the Archbishop’s House.

The dialogue was facilitated by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and co-sponsored by the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro under its Peace and Justice program and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

“We may have not announced right away what he did but we gave our best efforts and assure you that failure of the police is not an option here,” said Desquitado.

He said with the filing of a frustrated murder case against the suspects, they are now focusing on identifying the mastermind behind the murder attempt.

“We are more interested on (knowing) who the mastermind is. Kahit na kung may kapit sa politico (even if he has political connections), this should not be an excuse not to investigate,” he said.

Desquitado also said that they are currently working on the lead that the shooting incident was possibly connected to the illegal drugs issue Licuanan was discussing in his commentary program “Sona Libre.”

For his part, Supt. Emmanuel Hebron, head of “Task Force Dacoycoy,” said they have built a solid case against the suspects based on their in-depth investigation.

“Lig-on ang kaso nga atong gi-submit sa fiscal,” (We submitted a strong case to the fiscal) he said.

As for the barbs against local media, Desquitado admitted that it was foul on the part of the police to be onion-skinned to criticisms.

“We are thankful for this opportunity to say our side in a forum like this. It was foul on the part of the police to exchange barbs with media,” he said.

“Please continue hitting us or whoever you think is not doing their job,” he added, eliciting laughter from the participants of the dialogue.

After the dialogue, it was agreed in principle that media, police, church, civil society and business will organize a “communication hub” to encourage active participation of the community in the fight against impunity.

Licuanan was shot by two motorcycle-riding assailants on the night of Nov. 24 on his way home from dxIF.  (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)