|Court clears suspect in GenSan broadcaster's slay|
|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 10 June 2007 03:00|
The Philippine National Police effort to solve militants and journalists’ killings suffered a setback when General Santos City judge has acquitted one of the suspects in the June 2004 ambush-slay of local broadcaster Elpidio “Ely" Binoya.
Judge Oscar Noel Jr. of the General Santos City regional trial court branch 35 dismissed recently for insufficient evidence the murder charges on Ephraim Englis, a former barangay captain in General Santos City.
This prompted police officials led by Director Geary Barias, chief of Task Force Usig, and Chief Superintendent Felizardo Serapio Jr., PNP Central Mindanao office chief, to make a request Sunday before Chief PNP Oscar Calderon to exclude Englis in the nationwide “List of Accused in the Killing of Militant and Media Personalities."
Barias, also chief of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), was officially asked by Serapio to delete Englis’ name from the DIDM national data base of suspects in militant and journalists’ killings.
Barias, however, insisted that Englis' co-accused, Alfonso Toquero and a John Doe, are still facing murder charges for the killing of Binoya and will continue to undergo trial.
Binoya, station manager of Manila Broadcasting Corporation's Hot FM "Radyo Natin" in General Santos City, was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding men in the outskirts of the city on June 17, 2004.
The General Santos City Police Office initiated the filing of murder charges against Englis, his driver Toquero and the other unnamed suspects.
Binoya became a regular commentator of “Radyo Natin (Our Radio)," as well as its station manager in 2001.
Binoya was reportedly the 45th journalist killed since 1986.