Suspect in slay try on radio commentator yields

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/31 January)—The alleged gunman in the shooting of local radio commentator Michael James “Dacoycoy” Licuanan was scheduled for transfer today to the Lumbia City Jail after surrendering to authorities in Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental last night, this city’s police director said.

In an interview today, Senior Supt. Gerardo Rosales said Baldomero N. Pajo, 29, of barangay Natubo, Jasaan surrendered last night to police authorities in his hometown.

“The warrant for his (Pajo) arrest was released on the second week of January. I immediately sent four intelligence operatives to the towns of Jasaan and Claveria because our intelligence sources reported he was spotted in these towns,” said Rosales.

Rosales posited that the suspect may have opted to surrender when he learned that a warrant for his arrest had already been issued.

He added that during a brief interrogation on the night of Pajo’s surrender, the suspect told Rosales that he only surrendered to clear his name, saying he had no involvement in the shooting of Licuanan on November 24 last year, a day after the second anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre.

The suspect was unavailable for interview because he was still being arraigned at the time.

“He is not here because he is still at RTC (Regional Trial Court)-Branch 38 under Judge Emmanuel Pasal. After the judge issues the commitment order, he will be returned here (Maharlika Headquarters) first for proper identification processing. Then he will be brought to Lumbia City Jail where he will stay awaiting the hearing of his case,” Rosales said.

Pajo will be facing a frustrated murder case, docketed under criminal case no. 2012-020.

Rosales said that the suspect may post a bail bond of P200,000.

“But the suspect said he has no money to put up the bail money, so he will be committed to Lumbia City Jail,” the police official said.

Rosales said Pajo has had brushes with the law in the past, including alleged involvement in a robbery on a pharmacy in Villanueva, a town before Jasaan.

Licuanan, who survived the slay try, identified the suspect through a rouges gallery.

The other suspect, Wenceslao Diaz, whose last known address is in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental is still at large. Pajo denied knowing Diaz during the tactical interrogation after his surrender.

Licuanan, who was shot while on his way home from dxIF-Radyo Bombo, is the second broadcast journalist shot in Cagayan de Oro. On March 5, 2009, dxCC-RMN chief of reporters Nilo Labares was shot, also by two motorcycle-riding men. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)