By Filane Mikee Cervantes

ARRESTED. Murder suspect Junell Jane Andagkit Poten, 33, is apprehended in Barangay Saguing, Makilala, Cotabato by the Police Regional Office 12 and the Makilala Municipal Police Station on Thursday night (May 2, 2024). Poten is the alleged gunman in the 2019 killing of broadcaster Eduardo Dizon in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. (Photo courtesy of PTFoMS)

MANILA – The suspected gunman in the 2019 killing of broadcaster Eduardo “Ed” Dizon in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato has been arrested, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said on Friday.

Citing a report from the Special Investigation Team (SIT), PTFoMS Executive Director Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez said Junell Jane Andagkit Poten, alias “Junell Gerozaga,” 33, was arrested on Thursday night in Barangay Saguing, Makilala, Cotabato by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 and the Makilala Municipal Police Station.

An informant provided authorities with positive information on the whereabouts of Poten.

Dizon, a radio commentator for Brigada News FM in Kidapawan City, was gunned down by two armed suspects on the night of July 10, 2019.

He sustained five bullet wounds and died on the spot.

Gutierrez said Poten’s arrest demonstrates the Marcos’ administration’s continuing effort to create a safe media environment for journalists, as well as its commitment to the rule of law and the delivery of justice to victims of violent crimes.

“These accomplishments by the government again prove that no one can escape from the long arms of the law and that thru the PTFoMS guiding its member-agencies, it has an effective and working mechanism to address all violence against the life, liberty, and security of all members of the media,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also commended Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla for creating the SIT Dizon to handle the murder case of the Mindanao-based radio broadcaster.

Previously, one of the suspects was acquitted while another was granted bail.

According to the DOJ, PTFoMS was belatedly informed that one of the suspects, Sotero “Jun” Jacolbe, was granted bail and subsequently acquitted by the Davao Regional Trial Court last March 8.

The alleged mastermind, Dante Encarnacion Tabusares (alias Bong Encarnacion), was similarly allowed to post a PHP500,000 bail by the court on March 11, a week after his voluntary surrender at the Davao City Police Office.

“With the arrest of Gerozaga, we are also confident this will strengthen the case against Encarnacion, the alleged mastermind,” Gutierrez said.

According to information gathered by the PTFoMS, the suspects plotted to kill Dizon over his stringent criticism of Encarnacion and the KAPA Ministry that was ordered closed by the government in 2019 for being a front for a financial scam.

Encarnacion was the leader of KAPA-North Cotabato at the time. (PNA)