|A picture grabbed of a suspect being arrested by the police|
BY CMFR |
3 JUL 2013 CMFR/Philippines – Three men on a motorbike shot and wounded a newspaper publisher near a waiting shed last 2 July 2013 in Santa Barbara town, Pangasinan province. Police arrested two of the suspects the next day, 3 July 2013. Initial police investigation said the motive appears to be a personal grudge, but the police are still looking into the possibility that the attack was work-related. Santa Barbara town is some 200 kilometers north of Metro Manila.
Publisher of the weekly newspaper Northern Star Jaime Aquino was shot at twice and hit once in the back, the bullet exiting his chest, while he was in a waiting-shed near his parked car on Tuesday, around 7:10 am, according to police officer Oliver Panoringan who talked to CMFR over the phone on the day of the incident. Aquino was able to run to his car to get his own gun but the gunmen escaped. The police responded to a call from a concerned citizen who reported the shooting. They brought Aquino to a nearby hospital. Panoringan said Aquino managed to give investigators the names of the three men who attacked him.
A day after the shooting, the police arrested two of the suspects, whom they identified as William Garcia and Jerry Aquino. The third suspect has not been named pending his arrest. Santa Barbara police chief Giovani Mangonon told CMFR in a phone interview last 3 July 2013 that the suspects in custody had denied shooting the newspaper publisher. Investigators have yet to discount Aquino’s work as publisher as the motive for the shooting. But it appears that the two arrested have a personal grudge against the newspaper publisher, said Mangonon.
The police chief said the suspects’ possible motives had no connection with a murder complaint against Aquino that initial news reports mentioned.
The reports said Aquino had been named a suspect in the murder of Ruperto Martinez, the mayor of Infanta town in Pangasinan, last 12 December 2012, along with Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr., and Pangasinan representative Jesus Celeste. On February 2013, Manila’s GMA (TV) News reported that Aquino had asked the Supreme Court to stop the investigation of the murder case and to have custody of his 16-year old son who he said was being groomed by government authorities to testify against him. Aquino said that his son was not a credible witness in the murder case, claiming that his son was a high school drop-out, a thief and a drug addict. (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/295482/news/nation/pangasinan-journo-wants-murder-probe-stopped-demands-custody-over-son)