Davao Sur guv, mayor linked to journalist's murder-A A +A
Monday, October 11, 2010
DAVAO DEL SUR -- A self-confessed gunman tagged a governor and a town mayor in this province in the murder of a newspaperman in Digos City in June, this year.
Nestor Bedolido, a reporter of The Kastigador weekly newspaper, was shot dead in front of a karaoke pub in Digos City on June 19 before horrified bystanders.
Voltaire Mirafuentes, the alleged killer, said in his sworn affidavit that Davao Del Sur Governor Douglas Ra Cagas and Matanao town Mayor Butch Fernandez are involved in the killing.
Mirafuentes said he was duped by Cagas and Fernandez into killing Bedolido by making him believe that the victim had something to do with the death of his parents in 2009.
He executed the affidavit at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headquarters in the Camp Crame in Quezon City last October 8.
Cagas quickly denied Mirafuentes’ claim, saying he never knew and met the suspect.
In his affidavit, Mirafuentes said he was summoned by Cagas to the latter’s residence in Digos City on the morning of June 19. He said that when he arrived at the place, he saw Mayor Fernandez along with the governor.
The two politicians then allegedly informed him that Bedolido was the one "who caused the death" of his parents, who were allegedly shot and killed by Apolinario "Jun" Gamayot Jr. and Elizardo "Doydoy" Bacon.
Gamayot and Bacon were known to be bodyguards of Fernandez, but the mayor said he fired the two after he discovered that they were "deep penetration agents" of Cagas's staunch political rival -- the Bautistas of Malita.
Mirafuentes said his parents, Henry and Brenda, formerly worked with Cagas as "members of his confidential close-in staff." They were killed in an ambush in New Visayas in Matano on September 9, 2009.
"(Cagas and Fernandez) were able to convince and mislead me to believe that my parents were killed because of the doings of Bedolido," Mirafuentes said in his affidavit.
With this, the two politicians allegedly told Mirafuentes to get justice for his slain parents by killing Bedolido.
Cagas allegedly assured Mirafuentes that he would support him in getting his brand of justice and that the governor would take care of the police that might run after Mirafuentes.
Mirafuentes said he was supplied by Cagas and Fernandez with a .45 caliber pistol and another pistol for his younger brother, Henry Mirafuentes Jr., who would serve as his lookout and driver of the getaway motorcycle.
On the night of June 19, Mirafuentes said he shot and killed Bedolido at the Torecs videoke bar along Quezon Avenue in Digos City. He said he was assisted by his brother Henry and two other henchmen identified only as a certain Bado and Ali.
"That the next day, I was just surprised to learn from some concerned individuals and relatives that allegedly, papers and feelers showing the cartographic sketch of the supposed face of the suspect of the shooting were distributed and circulated on some areas in Digos City. According to them, the cartographic sketch resembles my face. Worse, they said the suspect was described in the feelers as one named 'Ritchie Mirafuentes' and nicknamed 'Boyet'. That on or about the third day since the incident, the said cartographic sketch was shown on the television. Immediately thereafter, I went into hiding," Mirafuentes said.
Cagas, however, questioned the length of time that passed before Mirafuentes came out into the open.
The governor also said he suspects some of his political enemies to be behind the "trumped-up charges" against him.
It was found out that Mirafuentes has also issued an extrajudicial statement before the CIDG in Camp Crame on October 6 and has expressed his desire to enroll in the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice. (BOT of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 11, 2010.