Preliminary investigation on broadcaster's slay reset

THE preliminary investigation on the murder of Dumaguete-based broadcaster Edmund Sestoso was reset to August 15 because the police have failed to reply to the counter-affidavit of Rene Bustamante, the principal suspect by inducement in the case.

Counsel for the defense Joel Obar said they could not proceed with the preliminary hearing set Tuesday as scheduled before the city prosecutor’s office in the absence of the reply of the police to their counter-affidavit.

Obar on Tuesday enjoined the police to stop the practice of allegedly making trumped-up charges against perceived enemies of the state like his client Rene Bustamante whom, he said, has returned to the fold of the law and is now gainfully employed in Cebu.

“Now they are forcing an issue against him with the trumped-up charges. I don’t think this can help in the peace process that is being started by the President,” Obar pointed out.

“I hope the police will look at the light of day because this is not good for them,” he added.

Sestoso died a day after he was shot by two motorcycle-riding suspects, with the police claiming afterward that the New People’s Army (NPA) was behind the killing.

Bustamante asked the police to produce the alleged suspects, a certain “Sherwin” and “Mokong”, who are in a better position to point to him as the source of information, his lawyer said.

Obar was, however, told “Sherwin”, whose real name is Jerryl Delantes, is now fighting for his life after a shooting incident on Saturday in La Libertad, Negros Oriental.

In that incident, his driver, a certain Richard Bustamante alias “Dondon”, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

“They have to produce any or both of them because I want to cross-examine the sources; they cannot just bring charges and not present the sources of information,” the defense lawyer said.

“If the police fail to produce the principal suspects by participation, “I don’t think the case will even prosper at the level of the prosecutor’s office,” Obar said.

If the information of Senior Superintendent Raul Tacaca, Negros Oriental provincial police director, is correct that the late Richard Bustamante was the triggerman in the shooting of Sestoso, and not “Mokong” or “Sherwin”, then there seems something wrong with the story of the police, he added.

“It has become more complicated for the police,” Obar said. (PNA)

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