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Police officer faces investigation over radio broadcaster's murder

(CMFR/IFEX) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) will conduct a preliminary investigation into a complaint that a police officer killed a radio commentator in Occidental Mindoro. Occidental Mindoro is located approximately 156 kilometers south of Manila.

A preliminary investigation is a proceeding to determine whether there are reasonable grounds for a criminal case to be filed. If there is probable cause, the investigating panel will recommend the filing of a murder case against the suspect before a local court.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Irene Sunga Perez, widow of slain broadcaster Crispin Perez Jr., filed a murder complaint on 2 July 2009 against police officer Darwin Quimoyog.

In her affidavit, Sunga identified Quimoyog as the lone gunman who shot Perez twice in front of their house in San Jose town, Occidental Mindoro, on 9 June. Perez was one of the three hosts of the morning program "Sa Totoo Lang" ("For Real"), which aired on the local government-owned FM radio station dwDO from Monday to Friday.

Sunga, who was in the house during the shooting, alleged that Quimoyog pretended to seek legal advice from Perez, who was also a lawyer. After the consultation, Quimoyog pulled out a gun and shot Perez, according to Sunga.

Local police in San Jose town later recovered the motorcycle the gunman allegedly used when he fled the scene. The motorcycle was traced to Quimoyog, who allegedly bought it on 5 June. Several witnesses said that Quimoyog used the motorcycle to keep an eye on Perez.

Quimoyog, who was stationed in Magsaysay town in Occidental Mindoro, is now under the custody of the Police Regional Office 4-B-Mimaropa at Camp Eugenio Navarro in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, according to the NBI.

Perez is the second journalist/media practitioner killed in the line of duty this year. Out of 79 work-related killings since 2001, there have only been three cases that resulted in the conviction of killers - those of Marlene Esperat, Edgar Damalerio, and Armando Pace. Forty-one journalists or almost 52 percent of the 79 were killed after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed presidency in 2001.

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