[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jan 19 21:43:27 CST 2006
Photojournalists killer draws death sentence
A Cebu Regional Trial Court yesterday imposed the death sentence on an
alleged drug pusher for killing local photojournalist Allan Dizon in 2004.
Judge Ireneo Gako Jr. of RTC Branch 5 found Edgar Belandres, of Barangay
Lorega, guilty of murder based on the testimony of three witnesses - 2
jeepney drivers and a sidewalk vendor - who identified him as the gunman.
Dizon, 30, a reporter-photographer of The Freeman daily and its sister
publication in Cebuano, Banat News, was killed near SM City Cebu on Nov.
27, 2004, at 6:59 p.m.
The victim was standing on the sidewalk near a car wash outlet when the
lone assailant shot him 3 times in the head, chest and back. He died an
hour later at the Cebu City Medical Center.
"Seor Sto. Nio, salamat! (Thank you)" cried Dizons widow Amelina after the
verdict was read.
"I am very happy with the decision" At last justice has been served to
Allan," she later told reporters.
A week after his death, members of a task force assigned to handle the
Dizon murder case arrested Belandes, a neighbor and friend of the victims,
in Lorega-San Miguel, where they grew up.
Police claimed that Belandres, allegedly a notorious drug pusher operating
in the community, got mad at Dizon, whom he suspected of alerting the
police about his illegal activities.
Police believed that Belandres was the same person identified only as "DD"
who sent a text message to Dizon before he was killed. DD referred to
Dodong Ensong, the nickname of Belandres, police said.
Based on the text message, DD asked Dizon to go to the car wash outlet.
Belandes denied the charges, claiming he was at his family's meat shop in
Lorega at the time. His lawyers, Danilo Yap and Leslie Salva, said they
would appeal the ruling.
Judge Gako said in his decision read before a jampacked court that he "has
no reason to doubt the prosecution witnesses that they were present during
the incident" and saw Belandres shoot Dizon.
More than 50 journalists, mostly from the provinces, have been killed
since 1986, prompting international journalists' groups to put the
Philippines in their list of most dangerous places for journalists.
Last week, a former boxer suspected of killing Cebu broadcaster George
Benaojan in December last year surrendered to the police to clear his
Roberto "Dinky" Jagdon, of Lawaan Uno, Talisay City, denied involvement in
the killing of dyDD reporter George Benaojan on Dec. 1, 2005.
(source: Philippine Inquirer)
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