Cops nab suspected gunman of slain radio broadcaster

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO — Police operatives of Ilocos Norte nabbed the suspected gunman in the shooting to death last June of a media practitioner in Laoag City before dawn of September 23 in Baguio City.

Police Senior Superintendent Marlou C. Chan, Ilocos Norte provincial director, reported to  Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Orlando M. Mabutas, that   combined elements of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Branch (PIDMB) and Crisis Response Group-Special Weapons and Tactics (CRG-SWAT) led by Police Chief Inspector Nelson A. Pacalso arrested Leonardo Banaag Jr. y Velasco @ Jake Banaag, of legal age and a resident of Barangay 5, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, at the Summer Place Hotel, Baguio City before dawn of September 23, 2010.

Banaag was tagged as the gunman in the killing of Jovelito Agustin, DZJC Aksyon Radyo broadcaster based in Laoag City, who was shot dead on his way home together with his nephew Joseph Agustin on the night of June 15, 2010.  The suspect is listed among Ilocos Norte’s Top 10 Most Wanted Persons (MWP).

Banaag was arrested by virtue of  a warrant of arrest issued by Honorable Judge Charles Aguilar of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 in Laoag City for the crimes of murder and attempted murder; and a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Francisco Quilala of RTC Branch 14 in the same city for illegal recruitment.

“We will remain committed in our drive to neutralize other MWPs.  We shall continue tapping the help of the community to monitor their whereabouts to bring them to the law and give justice to the victims,” Mabutas said.

PCSupt. Mabutas also disclosed that Police Regional Office 1 is carrying out an aggressive region-wide anti-criminality campaign as part of the security measures being undertaken in connection with the upcoming barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections on October 25.#