Former Catanduanes police officer Vincent Tacorda, who initially confessed to killing newspaper publisher Larry Sy Que but later recanted, was found guilty in a separate case of frustrated murder, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security said on Sunday.
In an 11-page verdict released on Feb. 14, Virac Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada convicted Tacorda in the attempted murder of Samuel Rojas, a Department of Education personnel in San Jose, Viga.
Tacorda shot Rojas on Aug. 10, 2016. The victim survived the attack.
“In one way or another, justice has been achieved and we’ll make sure that the likes of Tacorda will feel the force of the law. The verdict may have been for another reason, but the Duterte administration will always ensure that justice will be served and media workers are protected,” task force co-chairman and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.
“This is the same policeman who initially confessed to the killing of Catanduanes journalist Larry Que but eventually retracted. At that time, we found out about this shooting case in Viga and asked the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation. While the Que case did not prosper due to lack of sufficient evidence despite his admission (and retraction), the court found him guilty in the Rojas case,” Task force executive director Undersecretary Joel Egco said.
Que’s death is considered as the first incident of media killing under the Duterte administration.
He was shot in the head, allegedly by Tacorda, on Dec. 19, 2016, as he was about to enter the building where his insurance firm is located in Virac.