Duterte asks police to look into all angles in broadcaster’s death

Dec. 27, 2007

Davao City Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte blasted certain politicians in Davao for insinuating that City Hall could have had a hand in the killing of radio broadcaster Fernando “Ferdie” Lintuan.

In a press statement, Mayor Duterte said insinuations that Lintuan was killed for his attacks on alleged irregularities in the Davao City People’s Park is to deprive Lintuan and his family ”real justice”.

“To do that sans evidence and without giving due course for formal investigation to take place is the height of injustice to Mr. Lintuan. It’s like killing him all over again,” he said, adding: “The danger in such act is that we are already tying the hands of the police to follow the roar of the mob and pick up the wrong people. That would be adding insult to the senselessness in the killing of Mr. Lintuan.

“What we have here is a tragedy for the Lintuan family, a tragedy for press freedom and peace and order; and so we must spare Mr. Lintuan and his family from political posturing.”

Duterte was reacting to a statement by a local politician who told the press hours after the killing of Lintuan that the latter could have been done in by the
“Death Squad and the usual suspects”.

Although the politician refused to say who they were, the so-called Death Squad is said to be behind the executions of drug dealers and criminals here.

Saying that Lintuan deserves justice “even in death”, Duterte said the slain broadcaster and his family must get justice through the arrest of the real suspects. He lauded investigators from the Philippine National Police who vowed not to be “dragged into the two politician’s quarrel” but to look into “all claims coming from different quarters.”

Apart from the People’s Park, Lintuan had also criticized for two years now Jim Regis, who is in charge of the x-ray division of the Bureau of Customs office here. Regis reports directly to the office of Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales.

A hard-hitting broadcaster, Lintuan also took potshots at Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas and Compostela Valley Gov. Arthur Uy; and was fired by the Antonio Floirendo Sr.-owned ABC-5 local television station for leading an employees’ labor union in the company.

Recently, he was said to have caused the confiscation of a taxi driver’s license and caused trouble for the operator when he complained before the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board here the driver refused to bring him to his destination. Lintuan was also vocal about allegedly illegal logging activities in the Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Earlier, Duterte has offered a P500,000 reward for the immediate capture and arrest of the suspects. He likewise offered to shoulder all the necessary expenses and other needs of Lintuan’s family.

“As to the issue he raised relative to alleged irregularities in the Davao City People’s Park, I am asking the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit to initiate an investigation on the alleged overprice,” Duterte said in his statement.

“And if they see anything overpriced by 10 pesos, I will resign and swear not to run for office again,” he said, adding: “My reputation for respecting journalists is as spotless as my graft-free record in my 17 years in office.”
According to Duterte, Lintuan has been criticizing him since 1988 and that he respected the latter’s views.

“It is the height of stupidity for me to do harm on him hours after he aired his criticism on the People’s Park. Clearly there are unseen groups at work that has set up a scenario wherein the city hall is to be blamed for the killing of a journalist,” he said.

“Thus, I call on my political colleagues to stop riding on the issue of Mr. Lintuan’s killing and let true justice take its course. Clearly the issue here is justice and press freedom, not politics,” the mayor also said.

Please Contact for Inquiries:
Mr. Alex Roldan
City Information Officer
Davao City

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