The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is now investigating the attack on a radio journalist in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat who was left in critical condition after being shot by unidentified gunmen.
PTFoMS co-chairperson, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said his office strongly condemns the “cowardly” ambush on Benjie Caballero, acting station manager of Radyo ni Juan FM and a provincial stringer for the tabloid Remate.
Sy Egco, quoting a police report, said Caballero is now fighting for his life after he was shot five times by two gunmen while he was waiting for a ride in Poblacion, Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.
Caballero is also the president of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Task Force on Media Security.
“Let us all pray for Benjie’s survival. Arnel Palada, a friend who is at the hospital, told me that Benjie is still fighting and he will undergo surgery anytime. Packs of blood had arrived at the hospital,” Sy Egco said.
“We are now investigating this case and we will get to the bottom of this and get his attackers,” he added.
“Caballero has no known enemies but was very critical of a powerful political clan in Maguindanao.”
Sy Egco said Caballero has no known enemies, but was “very critical of a powerful political clan in Maguindanao.”
He likewise revealed that he was told by Caballero – whom he describes as a close friend – that a “powerful politician” is the financier of the Radyo ni Juan FM.
Sy Egco, however, did not disclose the identity of the alleged political family in Maguindanao and the supposed politician financing the radio station where Caballero is working.
“Caballero may have drawn the ire of some people he dealt with in a financing business he was involved with.
According to Sy Egco, task force informants have raised the possibility that Caballero “may have drawn the ire of some people he had dealt with in a financing business.”
Sy Egco has assured that the PTFoMS is on top of the situation and is closely coordinating with authorities in its probe of the case.
He added that follow-up investigations are also being monitored by his office.
“I am very sure that Benjie (Caballero) knew who would have wanted him dead,” Sy Egco said. “I also call on the victim’s benefactors to fully cooperate with us and assist the victim.”
He said Caballero’s ambush is considered “work-related, unless further investigation proves otherwise.”
Sy Egco said the PTFoMS has already asked Tacurong City police chief, Lt. Col. Rey Egos to secure the hospital where Caballero is now being treated.