As the death anniversary of radio broadcaster Cornelio Pepino approaches, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has expressed confidence the official result of the inter-agency probe into his death will be released soon.
Pepino, a veteran commentator and known critic of local politicians, was shot dead by riding-in-tandem gunmen in Dumaguete City on May 5, 2020 right after hosting his show.
“In spite of the tremendous obstacles faced by investigators and the logistical challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Task Force is nearing the final stages of the investigation into Pepino’s death. We remain steadfast in our commitment to bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable crime,” said Usec. Joel Egco, PTFoMS executive director.
Earlier, the Philippine National Police identified a certain Rodel Barillo as the primary suspect in the case after a witness came forward and claimed he overheard the suspect talking about the incident.
A court-issued search warrant resulted in the recovery of a 9mm gun from Barillo’s residence which the PNP said matched with the bullet slugs found in the crime scene.
Barillo, however, was shot dead a week after the killing of Pepino.
“It’s theatrical. Just like in the movies where one of the suspects is killed to tie some loose ends. Hindi naman tayo pinanganak kahapon,” Egco said.
According to Egco, the biggest challenge faced by investigators was the lack of direct eyewitnesses.
Even Pepino’s wife, Coleen, who was with the victim at the time of the incident, could not identify with certainty any of her husband’s killers.