By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
and JOEY NACALABAN
BUTUAN City – Caraga police director Brig. Gen. Gilberto Cruz yesterday ordered station chiefs to intensify the manhunt operation against a suspect in the killing of radio station DxJM commentator Francisco Patindol.
“We already have witnesses, and a case of murder will be filed against the suspect,” said Cruz who created a task force to catch the suspect in the Black Saturday stabbing death here. “I have ordered all available resources to [be used] in manhunt operation to give justice to the victim and his family.”
The Butuan police identified the suspected killer of the 52-year-old Patindol as Ulating Macarampat Barapangcat a.k.a. Ola Saransamen, 33. The suspect, according to the police, worked as a dispatcher. His last known address is at Purok 6, Narra Road, Barangay New Society Village, Butuan.
A special investigation task group headed by Lt. Col. Glenn Sampaga was immediately activated to look into the case, and a P50-thousand reward has been offered to anyone who has useful information.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said the killing of Patindol was “not work-related.”
“The count of work-related media killings remains 185 since 1986 and 12 under Duterte,” the NUJP said.
Investigators said CCTV footage showed that the victim was having a conversation with another person, and then a drunk Barapangcat came and joined in. Subsequently, he went towards a sidewalk vendor selling mango, grabbed a knife intended for fruits, returned and talked to Patindol and then stabbed him.
The CCTV footage was corroborated by witnesses who told investigators that the suspect stabbed the broadcaster to the left side of the chest and then fled.
Police said Patindol was attacked at around 10 am while he was with a companion outside a shop called Alba Copy Center on Narra Road in Barangay New Society here.
Capt. Emerson Alipit, spokesperson of the Butuan police, said Patindol was rushed to the Manuel J. Santos hospital where he was later declared dead at around 12:35 pm.
Patindol’s remains was brought back to Cagayan de Oro yesterday. He was from Ramonal Village, Nazareth.
Patindol had served as a former program director of radio station DxCO based in Opol town, Misamis Oriental. He was known to many media workers in Cagayan de Oro where he co-founded the now defunct Mindanao Media Advocates for Environment Preservation and where he also served as a member of the Philippine Federation of Rural Broadcasters in Region 10. (with a report from Mindanews)