DOJ junks media killing suspect’s plea

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Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Joel Sy Egco. (Photo courtesy by Ikot.com)

MANILA — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has junked the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the alleged gunman on the killing of Surigao del Sur radioman Christopher Lozada more than two years ago.

In a Resolution dated 28 May 2019, Joan Francis Alas-Esmero, Acting City Prosecutor of Surigao City denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Rolly Mahilum, the alleged gunman in Lozada’s murder on  October 24, 2017 in Brgy. Coleto, Bislig City.

Esmero   found ”no cogent reason to reverse her resolution finding probable cause for the indictment of respondent for murder and frustrated murder. ”

In addition, she said that the evidence submitted by the private complainant was sufficient to support a conclusion that respondent is probably one of the assailants.

Initially, respondent Mahilum, in his Motion for Reconsideration dated 30 September 2019, alleged that   the complaint against him is based on the unfounded theory of Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Joel Sy Egco and that private complainant has an ulterior motive to implicate respondent.

Esmero deemed that this allegation is contrary to the facts of the case as the Mayor  was not included as one of the respondents and only Mahilum was implicated because he was positively identified by Honey Faith Toyco, Lozada’s companion in the car when he was murdered.

Toyco was seriously wounded in the shooting and is now under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the DOJ.

“The Task Force mandate is to protect the life, liberty, and security of media workers” according to  Egco.

“We are not in the business of framing up people. Also, we are going the extra mile with our mandate by regularly monitoring cases in our inventory,” said Egco. (STACY  ANG/IA/Currentph.com)

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