GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/12 January) – Colleagues of slain publisher Christopher Guarin on Wednesday said they were able to raise P50,000 as reward money for the surrender of the gunman who then should identify the mastermind behind the murder.
James Catalan, station manager of RPN here and president of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) chapter in the city, said a close friend of the media here pledged the reward on condition of anonymity.
The media here assured protection for the gunman and to help him get into the witness protection program.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino Custodio earlier said she will put up reward money for the capture of the publisher’s killers but is yet to disclose the exact amount more than one week after Guarin was killed.
She said she was still waiting for the recommendation of the city police office.
Journalists here are wary the snailpaced investigation could give the perpetrators and mastermind behind the murder time to cover their tracks.
They believe an organized group specializing in killing for a sum of money is operating in the city.
“Let us (also) be reminded that there is a mastermind behind Guarin’s killing,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chapter here said.
Guarin was on his way home on January 5, when gunmen riding in tandem sided up with his car and shot the victim who was with his wife Lyn and their nine-year old daughter.
Wounded, Guarin tried to drive away but stopped after the gunman continued to fire at his vehicle. He then alighted and tried to run but the killers finished him off.
He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot.
The killers fled on board a white XRM motorcycle, according to witnesses.
Lyn said her husband had no known enemies, although she confirmed her husband had received several threats days before he was gunned down.
Lyn was grazed by a bullet on her right arm but it was her daughter who ran and cried for help when the gunmen had already left.
She urged police investigators to immediately arrest her husband’s killers.
She also vowed to seek justice for her slain husband.
Meanwhile, Lyn said her husband will be buried Sunday at the Matutum Memorial Park in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Guarin was the publisher of Tatak Bigtime News and was a radio “blocktimer” at RMN’s dxMD at the time of his death.
He was a former reporter of Bombo Radyo Gensan and later station manager of the defunct RGMA Super Radyo Gensan.
Guarin is the tenth media personality slain in General Santos City, excluding the 14 city-based journalists and media workers who were killed in the Ampatuan massacre in 2009.
General Santos City owns the record of most number of victims of media killings in the country, according to monitoring done by media organizations.
The 41-year old Guarin is also the first victim of media killing this year and the tenth under the Aquino government. (Edwin G. Espejo/MindaNews)