GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 January) – City police director Senior Supt. Cedrick Train said they are closing in on the mastermind behind the slaying of newspaper publisher Christopher Guarin and are ready to file murder case against the suspect once they have completed their investigation.
Train heads Task Force Guarin created to conduct the probe into the Guarin slaying.
The police official however declined to give details, saying they do not want to jeopardize ongoing manhunt and pursuit operations.
But he hinted that Guarin’s murder may not be issue-related. He said it might have something to do with the victim’s publication and newspaper business.
Tatak Bigtime News, published by Guarin, is one of at least five local dailies in General Santos.
On the evening of January 5, a gunman riding in tandem ambushed the victim who was on his way home with wife and daughter.
Wounded in the first volley, Guarin tried to drive away from his killers but stopped after the gunman chased and continued to fire at his car.
He alighted from his car and tried to plea to the gunman who finished him off by firing more shots.
Guarin died on the spot from at least five gunshot wounds.
The slain publisher was buried Sunday, January 15, amid continuing calls from the local media here to immediately arrest the killer, including the mastermind.
Police authorities said they have already subjected the slugs and empty shells recovered from the crime scene to laboratory tests and are now looking if these will match with evidences recovered from other unsolved killings in the city.
This developed as the bounty raised by journalists here for the arrest of the mastermind behind Guarin’s killing rose to over P88,000 following an additional P20,000 donation from a concerned citizen who declined to be identified.
Local media practitioners here have chipped in to raise reward money for the surrender of the gunman who they said should identify the mastermind.
A prominent personality here, who also requested anonymity, earlier pledged P50,000 for the arrest of Guarin’s killer and mastermind.
The amount is expected to rise as more pledges are being made.
Train said they will also recommend the amount of reward money to the Department of Interior and Local Government for the capture of the mastermind.
Guarin was the tenth mediaman killed in General Santos City since 1986, a Philippine record.
He was also the 150th killed since 1986 when various media organizations began recording media killings in the country, and the first journalist slain this year.
Various media organizations blamed the prevailing culture of impunity to the unsolved media killings in the country. (Edwin G. Espejo/MindaNews)