LAW enforcers did not just catch a suspect involved in illegal drugs in a drug-bust operation in Valencia City Tuesday afternoon, but they also arrested another suspect in the killing of a broadcast journalist in Bukidnon.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in northern Mindanao (PDEA-10) found out that the assistant of former policeman Asterio Pamisa is one of the suspected triggermen of radio commentator Joash Dignos when they conducted an anti-drug entrapment.

Raul Preglo, resident of purok 2, Poblacion, Valencia, was arrested by PDEA-10 operatives when he tried to fight against the authorities to protect Pamisa.

"I was just within the perimeters of Pamisa's house. I was not involved in the scene yet they arrested me," Preglo told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday morning.

Preglo admitted he was already hiding from law enforcers since his name came up in connection with Dignos' killing after another suspect, Dionesio Daulong, was arrested.

However, the suspect brushed off allegations that he was one of the alleged hired gunmen who killed Dignos.

"They are only pointing fingers at me since I was there when Dignos was killed," he added.

According to PDEA-10 assistant regional director Rayford Yap, the search warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court in Branch 9 in Cagayan de Oro targeted only Pamisa who was caught with an approximate 50 grams of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) with a street value of P400,000.

Rosemario Bajao, PDEA-10 information officer, said Preglo matched in one of the sketches released by the Valencia city police last January identifying the possible killers of Dignos.

"I know Dignos by face but not personally. I never have had a case. It's my first time in a detention cell," Preglo said.

Preglo is the second suspect arrested in the killing of Dignos following Daulong who was earlier arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) of Malaybalay city at Purok 6, Barangay Paitan, Quezon, Bukidnon last June 13.

Preglo is currently detained at the PDEA-10 cell and will be turned over to the Valencia city jail.

Recovered from the suspect was a .45 caliber pistol loaded with live ammunition.

Arrest of mastermind

Cagayan de Oro Press Club president Jerry Orcullo lauded the authorities for the capture of another suspect in the slaying of Dignos.

Still, Orcullo is hopeful for the arrest of the mastermind of the killing.

"It's a good development and we would like to commend the police for the efforts. The arrest should lead to the mastermind. And unless the mastermind is identified, arrested and brought to the bar of justice, the case of Joash will never get closure and instead, an added account to the unsolved killings with impunity. Better release those who were just ordered, if the one who order remains scot-free, it is still injustice," he said in a text message sent to this paper.

Earlier, Regional Prosecutor Jaime Umpa told this paper that he is hoping the other suspects of the killing will be arrested.

Umpa is closely coordinating with the prosecutors in Bukidnon so Dignos’ case could be given the right attention to ensure conviction of the perpetrators.

Dignos was shot at a restaurant along Sayre Highway in Valencia on November 29, 2013.

Dignos suffered from 22 gunshot wounds on his body. He was a block timer of DxGT Radyo Abante in Maramag town in Bukidnon and the first radio announcer in the province to be killed.

Preglo has yet to inform his family of what had happened since he was arrested without their knowledge. Preglo works as a staff in a pineapple-processing company in Bukidnon.