Speaker Alvarez denies hand in death of critic journalist

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez vehemently denied any hand in the death of veteran journalist Dennis Denora who was killed in Panabo City last week.

In a media interview, Alvarez said he is not into killing people that’s critical of him. He said that as a lawyer he is more keen on filing charges against his critics rather than having them killed.

“Unsay may labot nako ana. Sa tinood lang kagahapon rako nag-abot gikan sa abroad. Ako I don’t kill people I filed cases kung mahinumdom mo kana si Dennis gikasohan nako na sa una pero through the intercession ni Former Mayor (Rey) Uy mihangyo siya sa akoa nga kung pwede pasayloon ug i-withdraw ang kaso. Sa akoa wala nay problema so akong gipasaylo ug gi-withdraw ang kaso. Dili nako batasan mopatay og tao unya way hinungdan nganong patyon,” Alvarez was quoted as saying.

The Speaker urged investigators to look into all angles of the incident as he hinted that Denora could have been killed by his (Alvarez) enemies and put the blame on him.

“Ako as a lawyer tan-awon nato tanang anggolo atong estudyohan unsay pagkatao sa biktima unya tan-awon pud nato ng anggolo sa collateral damage. For me he is also a convenient target to hit me nga ilang ipahid sa akoa because siya critic sa akoa you should study also that angle,” said Alvarez.

Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) head Undersecretary Joel Egco last week said that Denora’s death appears to be politically motivated. In fact, he said, a “very influential politician” could be behind Denora’s killing.

“The initial report we received is that his killing has something to do with politics. I can’t give the name, we cannot say it’s (the) official (finding) but a politician with strong influence is one of the (suspects) that we got from the ground,” Egco said.

Egco said Denora’s killing came as a shock because the slain journalist had not reported any harassment prior to the attack.

“We didn’t get any report of him being harassed, he was not on the radar, meaning, there was no past records of him coming under attack, he was an old man and the incident was shocking,” Egco added.

Based on Denora’s past articles, the slain journalist was very critical of Speaker Alvarez whom he accused of promising P3 million for each barangays during the campaign period of the barangay and SK election last month.

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