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Police launch manhunt for publisher’s killer

Edwin G. Espejo

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Murder charges filed vs Marvin Palabrica

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 12 launched a manhunt against the gunman who allegedly shot and killed General Santos publisher Christopher Guarin, following the filing of a murder case on Wednesday, February 1.

Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro, CIDG regional chief and Task Force Guarin vice chair, said murder charges were already filed against one Marvin Palabrica who was “positively” identified by at least three witnesses from a police rogue gallery of suspected guns for hire operating in the region.

CIDG director Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao also made the announcement to the media in Manila.

Palabrica is known by his nickname Niño and is also facing several murder cases.

Ferro however declined to name the witnesses for security reasons.

The suspected gunman is said to be a resident of this city but has been on the lam after he was also charged for the murder of at least 2 other persons, one of them a councilor in nearby Polomolok town in South Cotabato.

On January 5, Guarin was on his way home with wife and daughter when the suspect, riding in tandem, pulled up beside his car and started shooting at the victim.

Guarin was wounded in the first volley but managed to drive his car several meters away before running away from the gunman, who chased and continued to fire at him.

The gunman fled after firing more shots at Guarin.


The Tatak Bigtime News publisher was brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Ferro said they still could not establish the reason behind Guarin’s assassination but are looking into several business angles as possible motives.

But he also said there is a strong possibility that a third party acted as a go-between between the gunman and the mastermind.

Ferro declined to elaborate.

He said the capture of the gunman alive could possibly lead to the identity of the mastermind.

The police breakthrough came 28 days after Guarin was killed.

Guarin was the first media man killed this year and the tenth under the government of President Benigno Aquino III.

He also became the 150th journalist killed since the National Union of Journalist Philippines began chronicling such attacks against the media in the Philippines.

Days after his killing, media colleagues of Guarin said they have raised P50,000 as reward money for the surrender of the gunman who then should identify the mastermind behind the murder.

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