Ex-mayor accused in slay of Aklan radioman denied bail

Statement

May 26, 2008

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) welcomes the decision of the Cebu Regional Trial Court to deny the motion for bail of the suspected killer of Bombo Radyo broadcaster Herson “Boy” Hinolan. NUJP sees the decision as a significant step toward solving the four-year old murder case.

After a surprise eyewitness identified former Aklan town mayor Alfredo Arcenio as the gunman in the Hinolan killing, Cebu RTC Branch 16’s Judge Sylva Aguirre-Paderanga denied today the ex-mayor’s motion for bail.

The Cebu court also ordered the accused to be immediately turned over to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

While this positive development gives hope to the families of victims of extra-judicial killings, such as the Hinolans, it is still a long way to go before the prevailing culture of impunity in the country can be dismantled. We must look at every unsolved case of murder of journalists as an affront to press freedom and democracy.

Earlier today, Arcenio pleaded not guilty and filed a motion for bail. However, the eyewitness, Niño Suñer, who was just a few meters away from the crime scene, identified Arcenio as the alleged gunman. He was able to debunk Arcenio’s claims that he was in another town at the time of the incident.

Suñer claimed to have recognized the ex-mayor as the area where the incident occurred was well-lighted. He also knew Arcenio as they frequented the same cockpits.

The court found Suñer’s statements credible, even after cross-examination.

Hinolan was repeatedly shot by a lone gunman last November 13, 2004 near a carnival in the capital town of Kalibo, Aklan. He died two days later from multiple gunshot wounds.

He was the former station manager of dyIN Bombo Radyo in Kalibo and host of the station’s morning program “Bombohanay Bigtime.”

References:

Rowena Paraan

Jose Torres

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