Vice Gov Mark Macias has berated the government custodians of provincial government vehicles at the General Services Office (GSO) for seemingly not cooperating with the National Bureau of Investigation NBI, in the current probe of the murder of broadcaster Rex Cornelio which allegedly involved a capitol government vehicle.
Macias presiding at the provincial board aired this lament at the provincial board aired this lament in the presence of NBI probers at the provincial board Session last Tuesday despite the order of Gov. Degamo for his men, to cooperate with law enforcers in pursuing the leads to the murder mystery, now the thirs involving Dumaguete broadcasters within a span of 24 months. They are: Edmund Sestos DYGBfm May 1, 2018; Dindo Generoso Bai Radio, Nov. 7 2019; and Rex Cornelio-Pepino DYMD fm, May 5, 2020.
The NBI under RA 10867 and Pres. Duterte’s Executive order 35 is mandated to take a lead role in investigating and prosecuting those involved in extra-judicial killings of mediamen, among others, under the Presidential Task Force Relating to Media Security.
The NBI headed by Atty. Hermie Monsanto (who is now in Cebu lockdown) has the robe team composed of Special Investigators Edu Salvador Transmonte, team leader; SI-III Ernesto Tagle and SI-III Coco Lastimoso.
The NBI admits that the biggest suspected and apparent involvement of the capitol car is the perceived role in the use of the Vios Toyota gray sedan red plate No 072806 assigned at the provincial assessors
office from which two alleged gunmen alighted from at the Robinsons car park and boarded the motorbike parked beside it past 8pm of May 5.
According to GSO capitol sources, the Vios car called I-Tax Car, is like a “prostitute car” where any staff just rides on it; its ignition key is usually attached while the door key is with the guard. The car was left by Australian donors who conducted Tax Mapping operations years back.
Who drove that Vios sedan during the Cornelio murder? — is now mystery. Did it have a trip ticket? — is also a mystery. Why? Probers are now zeroing in on who is officially assigned as custodian.
The problem now is the provincial assessor, the guards at the GSO and the alleged driver who refused to be interrogated by the NBI but submitted themselves only to the capitol lawyer who formally wrote the decline-letter to the NBI. The NBI is now applying to subpoena the assessor, guards and driver to shed light.
Meanwhile, Gov. Degamo issued a Memo directing his provincial attorneys to cooperate with the investigators and to initiate their own internal investigation. Degamo apparently never knew what was the new exploded.
Three agencies are now conducting parallel investigations on the Cornelio murder puzzle, namely the Police led by Col Julian Entoma; city chief of police Lt.Col Wilfredo Alarcon, the NBI team led by Edu Trasmonte and the Governor’s office lawyers led by Atty. Edmund Dy, Louie Rastica and Richard Enojo.
NBI PROBERS NOTE: From the Robinsons parking lot, the duo suspects who alighted from the capitol-car Vios, rode the motorbike parked beside it, and in tandem, followed Cornelio until he was shot at the north highway dark alley, fronting the FF0 motorparts store near the Christian church there, where there was no CCTV cam operating.
The NBI probers confirmed that another car, an orange KIA sedan with an apparently fake car plate awaited the gunmen at the Praxivilla courts road and allowed the duo to board the car.
They moved near to the Macia sports center, made transactions, (NBI suspects the pay-off) then the duo alighted and boarded the murder bike, and another in a separate motorcycle and sped towards downtown.
NBI PROBE TEAM told the provincial board that “this killing of media men in this city of gentle people must stop. It behoves upon every citizen private or public, to contribute their share in what they can, in order to restore law and order in this capital city of Negros Oriental.”