With Cagas in jail, family of murdered journalist satisfied, but not yet happy

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THE Family of murdered Digos City journalist continues to fight the battle for justice with optimism despite some developments that caused a snag in the judicial process.

Lawyer Ceasar Europa said the family of slain journalist Nestor Bedolido is happy over the incarceration of former Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas, one of the alleged masterminds in the killing that happened in 2010.

“They are fighting for this since 2010 and at least, something happening now,” said Europa. “They are not yet happy because there is no justice yet.”

Cagas surrendered to the police in Davao del Sur hours before the arrest warrant against him could be served last month. The other alleged mastermind, Matanao town Mayor Vicenter Fernandez was hospitalized before he could be arrested. The two other suspects, identified as Ali Ordaneza and Bado Sanchez are still in hiding.

The self-confessed gunman, Voltaire Mirafuentes, and his brother, Henry, positively identified Cagas, Fernandez and the two other suspects as the persons who instructed them to kill Bedolido.

Last week, the lone two judges in Digos City inhibited themselves from handling the case against Cagas and the other suspects. First to inhibit was Judge Carmelita Davin and after the case was assigned to her, Judge Magnolia Velez also decided to inhibit herself.

It was learned that Davin’s husband is in the same political party as Fernandez. Velez, on the one hand, said she is a relative of the wife of Cagas, Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas.

In June, the prime witness to the killing of Bedolido, Ritchie Manapol, was killed in Davao City.

But despite all these, the Bedolido family remains optimistic.

“From talking with the family, they are at least getting some small degree of satisfaction that something is happening,” Europa said.

The death of the eyewitness, he said, although considered a setback will not cause “kill the case.”

Manapol’s testimony is important and we are sad that it happened to him, but his death will not really affect the case,” said Europa. “The most important testimony is that of the gunman and his brother.”

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