Following Llana’s Killling: Newsmen may ask assist if threatened

By Celso Amo LEGAZPI CITY --- Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Bicol PNP regional director, advised media practitioners who received death threats to go to the nearest police station so the matter may be investigated and prevented. The regional police chief said newsmen who receive death threats can request for police protection especially when they have to conduct their jobs in places where security could be compromised. Escobal’s advice came following the killing of Albay broadcaster Joey Llana who was shot dead inside his black Isuzu sports utility vehicle 4:35 a.m. while about toreport for work from his residence in Barangay Peñafrancia in Daraga, Albay. “They can apply and follow the standard procedure if they want to carry firearms,” Escobal added. He also appealed to the public to coordinate with the police if they have any information that could help identify the perpetrators or lead to the mastermind. Escobal said he has already created a Special Investigation Task Group Llana after PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered the Bicol PNP to investigate the killing of Llana a top priority. The members of Special Investigation Task Group Llana are personnel form the Albay provincial police office, Daraga police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. “The perpetrators wanted to mislead scene-of-the-crime operatives (SOCO) by planting evidence to make the victim appear as one involved in illegal drugs,”Escobal said. But the forensic expert at the PNP Crime Laboratory did not find tetrahydrocannaberol metamphetamine metabolites from the cadaver’s urine. The 8 sealed plastic sachets did not show any presence of metamphetamine hydrochloride, as it was found to be a simple ‘tawas’ or a substance used to prevent body odor and other body sanitation practice. The blue sling bag, as well, as a lighter, found near the victim’s body proved to be negative of the victim’s fingerprints. Escobal said the PNP is giving regular update on the status of the investigation to the victim’s family and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security. Fr. Rex Arjuna, Legazpi Diocese Social Action Center director, also asked the authorities to do their best so that justice may be done to the victim and his family. He said slain Albay broadcaster was not only a journalist but also a member of the Christian community. “We condole with the family of slain Albay broadcaster Joey Llana as we join the authorities to seek justice for Joey Llana,” said Arjuna. In another development, Melchesidec Bedrijo y Mediana, 47, a farmer and resident of Barangay Matagangtang in Placer, Masbate was shot dead by four unidentified armed men at about 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, according to Senior Inspector Malou Calubaquib, Bicol PNP spokesperson. The victim was on his way to the house of his mother, Condrada Bedrijo, when the assailants blocked his path and shot him repeatedly causing his instant death. Probers from Placer police recovered from the crime scene 12 fired cartridge cases from an M-16 rifle.