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Police form task force over mediaman’s killing

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (SPPO) has formed on Tuesday, Sept. 15, a special investigation team called “Task Force Bercasio” following the killing of an on-line broadcaster who was shot and killed by riding in tandem gunmen on Monday night in a subdivision in Sorsogon City, a top police official said.

Col. Roque Bausa, SPPO chief, said a 10-man task group was formed to conduct a full investigation as to the possible motive behind the slay and the identity of the killers and mastermind. The task force will be headed by Lt. Col. Joceric Dela Peña.

Bausa said the creation of Task Force Bercasio was in line with Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero order to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and to relentlessly pursue the perpetrators.

Escudero, in a statement on the killing of the mediaman said “I condemn in the strongest possible words the killing of Joebert Bercasio last night.”

“Any attack or the killing of a journalist is also an attack on the very same freedom that we swore to uphold and protect. My sincerest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Joebert,” Escudero said.

Lt. Col. Benito Dipad, Sorsogon City police chief, said that investigators are still pursuing leads and gathering statements from possible witnesses who might shed light on the killing.

Dipad said that at around 7:55 PM, Bercasio on board his motorcycle while negotiating a road near XTRM Sea-Breeze Homes Subdivision in Barangay Cabid-an was attacked by a riding in tandem armed men.

Bercasio alias “Polpog”, 39 years old, was a resident of Purok 3, Sitio Dancalan, Barangay Buenavista, Bacon District, Sorsogon City.

Prior to the killing, Bercasio, a former radio reporter of DZMS and was an anchor of Balangibog News Online portal, reportedly posted on his personal Facebook account an issue about a quarry operation. An hour after posting the quarry operation in Bulan town, Bercasio was gunned down.

The suspects reportedly armed with high-caliber firearms fired four times at the back of the victim killing him instantly.

He said police investigators found spent shell reportedly from an M16 rifle at the crime scene.

The killing of Bercasio on Sept. 14 brought to two media personalities killed in Sorsogon, while a total of 11 mediamen were killed in Bicol in the last 20 years

In Albay, media persons killed include: Joey Llana, a broadcaster; John Villanueva, a radio anchor of DZGB; Claire Domingo, also a radio anchor; Jose Loreno of DZRC; and Ruel Endrinal of DWRL.

In Camarines Sur, mediamen killed include: Ronaldo “Anjo” Julia of DZGE killed in 2008; Miguel Belen of DWEB, Iriga City killed in 2010; and Romeo Olea of DWEB killed in 2011. Except for the case of Julia which is ongoing trial, the suspects in the killing of Belen and Olea remain unidentified and scot-free.

In the island province of Masbate, the killings of radio anchormen Nelson Nader and Joaquin “Jun” Briones are still unsolved, while in Catanduanes the case of Larry Que is still being investigated.

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