Gunman names Davao Sur governor, mayor as brains in journalist's killing

Subscribe Now October 10, 2010 at 09:46pm

The main suspect in the June murder of former Davao del Sur journalist Nestor Bedolido has named Governor Douglas Cagas and a town mayor as the brains behind the crime. In a confession signed on Friday before state prosecutor Hazel Valdez in Camp Crame, Voltaire Mirafuentes, 27, said Cagas and Matanao town Mayor Butch Fernandez instigated him to kill Bedolido. Cagas denied the allegations and said that efforts to implicate him in the Bedolido case were the handiwork of his political enemies.

“These are all trumped up charges against me by my political enemies,” he said in a statement sent to journalists.

Cagas also said he was wondering why it took the suspect so long to come out in the open.

Bedolido was once the editor of Digos Times, which was owned by the Cagas family. He had a falling out with Cagas before working for former Representative Claude Bautista while serving as consultant to the weekly paper Kastigador.

Cagas eventually defeated Bautista in the May gubernatorial race.

A few weeks later, Bedolido was shot dead at the corner of Rizal and Quezon avenues.

Mirafuentes was arrested in Digos City in the course of the manhunt for suspects. He had since been moved to the police facility in Camp Crame.

A copy of Mirafuentes’ signed confession, which the Philippine Daily Inquirer obtained, said the plan to kill Bedolido was hatched at Fernandez’s residence.

He said he got involved in the plot after the September 2009 ambush of his parents in New Visayas, Matanao.

Mirafuentes said his parents had worked for Cagas.

When the governor and Fernandez learned he was planning to exact revenge, they told him that Bedolido had something to do with the ambush and that they could help him get back at the former journalist.

He said the .45 pistol he shot Bedolido with came from Cagas.

He said his brother, Henry, one of the three lookouts in the crime, also got his gun from Cagas.

“I did it upon the instructions and directions of Gov. Douglas “Dodo” Cagas…that I heeded his instruction to shoot and kill Mr. Nestor Bedolido as he (Cagas) and Mayor Butch Fernandez, were able to convince and mislead (sic) me to believe that my parents were killed because of the doings of Mr. Bedolido,” Mirafuentes said.

He said Cagas and Fernandez “prodded me to kill Nestor Bedolido - purportedly for me to give justice for the death of my parents. Governor Cagas even categorically stated—“Tumbaha ninyo si Nestor, gusto nako…unsa man? Ikaw motumba? Walay problema. Ikaw Ali, ikaw na’y bahala ani (I want you to kill Nestor. Would you do this? There would be no problem. Ali, you take charge of this),” he quoted Cagas as saying.

Mirafuentes said Cagas, who had then won as governor, even bragged about taking care of police authorities.

He said Cagas had assured him that no charges would be filed and that “all he wants is (for the crime) to be cleanly done.”


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