BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (Norppo) has formed a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) on Wednesday to probe the murder of a radio reporter in Dumaguete City.
Col. Julian Entoma, Negros Oriental police director, leads the SITG, along with the Dumaguete City Police Station, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and other units.
Entoma said they have yet to determine the motive behind the killing of Cornelio Pepino, 48, of Sibulan town, on May 4.
Pepino, a regular news reporter and announcer of dyMD Energy 93.7 FM, was killed in an ambush by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay Daro on his way home, together with his wife. The wife was unharmed during the attack.
The killing happened just two days after the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day and six months after Dindo Generoso, a blocktimer of dyEM 96.7 Bai Radio, was also killed in an ambush in Dumaguete City in November 2019.
Although they are initially looking into work-related as one of the possible angles, Entoma said they have to explore other angles.
Entoma said the victim had threats and was even given security personnel before the 2016 elections, but he had it stopped because he was not comfortable.
“We are not yet sure if it’s work-related or personal because we don’t have evidence and persons of interest,” he said.
He also said that a copy of a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage they have obtained cannot identify the faces of the assailants, who were wearing face masks.
Meanwhile, the management and staff of dyMD, in, statement, posted on their official Facebook page, said that they are saddened and angered by the senseless and brutal killing of one of their colleagues.
They are calling for justice for Pepino’s death, whom they claimed is the fourth media man killed in the city since 2018. (Glazyl Masculino)