‘Motorbike killings’ bare real culprits | Inquirer Opinion

‘Motorbike killings’ bare real culprits

/ 05:27 AM June 21, 2011

We in the military are equally saddened by the recent killing of one of our media partners in the Bicol Region, Romeo Olea. As widely known, Romy was a hard-hitting journalist and radio commentator who exposed anomalies in government. We admired him for his advocacy for honest governance despite threats to his life.

We would like to assure the public of our commitment to help in identifying Olea’s murderers. Toward this end, the Philippine Army commander in the Bicol Region has thrown his full support behind the Philippine National Police which has formed Task Force Olea. Both agencies are now in the tedious process of gathering data about the case and “connecting the dots.”

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Notwithstanding this collaborative effort to ferret out the truth, John Concepcion, the blabbermouth leader of Karapatan-Bicol, accused the military of killing the journalist, supposedly for the latter’s being in the “Order of Battle” as an NPA rebel. We deny this allegation, and we assure the public that our OB does not just include anybody, much less the media.

Indeed, there are striking similarities to two media killings in Camarines Sur. In July 2010, Miguel “Mike” Belen was killed in the same fashion—by gunmen riding in tandem. Witnesses identified the motorcycle driver, Erick Vargas, who is now in a jail in Iriga.

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The killer, who was identified from a police gallery, turned out to be Gina Bagacina, aka Ka Liezel of the dreaded Sparu hit squad of the CPP/NPA. She remains at large and still poses a real danger to anyone who may be targeted by the NPA.

When pointing a finger at others, Concepcion should check where his other fingers are directed. He should start asking himself, “What is going on?”

Why is Concepcion tightlipped on the involvement of his friends from the communist’s armed group in the killing of Belen?

Again, we in the military will get our job done by unmasking the real character of the communists in this country. And we will help end the spate of media killings.

—COL. ANTONIO G. PARLADE JR.,

army spokesman/chief, public affairs, Office of the Army Chief Public Affairs, Headquarters Philippine Army,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Bicol Region, Media killings, Military, motorbike killings, New People’s Army, NPA order of battle, romeo olea, Task Force Olea
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