MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Monday, 21 October 2019, condemned in the strongest possible terms deeply saddened and condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of hard-hitting Remate columnist Jupiter Gonzales (Gonzales) in Arayat, Pampanga.
A spot report submitted to the PTFoMS by Police Lieutenant Colonel Dale Soliba, police chief of Arayat Municipal Police Station, showed Gonzales and a male companion, who was later identified as Christopher Tiongson (Tiongson), were aboard a Nissan Almera (AQA 8441) driven by Gonzales bound to Olongapo-Gapan road at Barangay Cacutud, Arayat, Pampanga when they were shot at by unidentified suspects at around 10:30pm Sunday, 20 October 2019. Tiongson, accordingly died on the spot.
Gonzales was immediately rushed by responding policemen at Arayat District Hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, according to Investigator On Case (IOC) Police Corporal Lawrence Perez, the victim was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) at the hospital.
Undersecretary Joel Egco, PTFoMS Executive Director, immediately coordinated with the police operatives in Arayat to speed-up the investigation.
Accordingly, he himself will lead a team of PTFoMS investigators who were to proceed to the place of the incident Monday morning.
P/LTCol Eder Collantes and P/LTCol Rechie Duldulao (ret), PTFoMS investigation chief and deputy were to accompany Usec. Egco.
Egco also writes a column at the same tabloid, Remate.
Gonzales writes a column for the same tabloid and was known for being a staunch critic of illegal gambling proliferating in local carnivals, or peryahan/pergalan in street parlance.
The PTFoMS presumes any form of media violence as work-related, until further investigation proves otherwise.
The Task Force (TF) is on top of the situation and is closely coordinating with the authorities regarding this incident and follow-up investigations are being closely monitored. (BCuaresma/IAmigo/CNS)