PNP task force identifies ‘person of interest’ in newsman’s slay


A “person of interest” has been identified in the ongoing investigation into the murder of journalist Jesus Malabanan, Philippine National Police chief General Dionardo Carlos revealed on Monday.

Without mentioning the name of the suspect behind the killing, Carlos said the development would be further validated as the “Special Investigation Task Group Malabanan” convened for another case conference among the PNP investigative units.

Carlos particularly cited information from testimonies of the victim’s family and colleagues who attested that they don’t know of any death threat that Malabanan received lately in connection with his profession as a journalist.

“This strengthens the possibility that the killing of Malabanan may have been more personal, than work-related,” Carlos said.

Malabanan was reportedly shot by a lone gunman while he was watching television inside his small store in Calbayog City, Samar. The suspect fled aboard a motorcycle driven by a companion.

Carlos said the Special Investigation Task Group Malabanan has been working relentlessly to get more information, pieces of evidence, and witnesses.

“We are exerting more efforts to establish the motive, identify the perpetrators and build a strong case leading to a successful prosecution,” he said.

Intensified anti-drugs ops

Meanwhile, at least P20 million worth of drugs and 47 suspects were arrested by the police in a weeklong anti-illegal drugs operations.

The operations were carried out from December 6, Monday until December  12, Sunday, by the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Based on the inventory, the operations yielded 1,064.06 grams of shabu, 15 grams of marijuana kush, a gram of marijuana dried leaves, 60,000 pieces of marijuana plants, 18,000 pieces of marijuana seedlings and two bottles of marijuana oil.

“This is relentless determination at its finest. These anti-narcotic operations wouldn’t be possible without a strong intelligence gathering and careful planning from our operatives,” Carlos said.

Carlos lauded the initiatives being undertaken by various police units at large despite the limitations brought by the pandemic.

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