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Police confirms positive leads on Olea murder

Naga City (June 24, 2011) — More than a week after the slaying of Iriga City broadcaster Romeo Olea, the police has found positive leads that can hasten the resolution of the crime.

This was revealed by Camarines Sur Police director Sr. Supt.Procopio Lipana, who heads “task force Olea,” during a Philippine National Police (PNP)-media dialogue held here.

"But investigators have to be given time to establish evidence against the suspects,”Lipana said.

Lipana assured members of the media in Camarines Sur that the task force will not stop until those responsible for the Olea killing are brought to justice. However, Lipana would not confirm at this early stage of the probe “that the murder was politically related,” when asked for comments on insinuations that Miguel Belen, who was killed on July 2010, and Romeo Olea - both broadcasters of DWEB-FM - had angered a political clan during the May 2010 elections.

Bicol Police Director, Chief Supt. Cecilio Calleja, who also attended the meeting bared that the PNP-media dialogue was convened to discuss personal security measures for media practitioners in Camarines Sur after the media killings have caused fears among broadcasters working in the locality.

The police director said they will provide a “ hot line” to enable the police to respond to any media related threats. Hand-outs with tips on personal safety of media members were distributed during the dialogue .

Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Camarines Sur chapter president Emman Llagas cautioned commentators ”not to get personal in their commentaries even if they are criticising bad deeds in government.”

He noted that Journalism Ethics provide the bounds of acceptable and legal media discussions aired on radio.

Prompted for comments, Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor Gazmen appealed to newsmen not to be rash in implicating the Alfelor clan in the Olea slaying. She said that although the broadcaster criticized some of her city programs, she condemns such acts of criminality.

During Olea’s internment in Iriga City last June 18, Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte announced that he was offering P500,000 bounty (reward money) to any informant who can lead to the arrest of Olea’s killers. The mechanisms related to this bounty are yet to be announced. (SONNY SALES)