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Task force seeks justice for ex-scribe

A government task force on media security has called on the police to bring to justice the perpetrators behind the murder of a former journalist in San Juan City last Thursday.

Undersecretary Joel Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, deplored the killing of Michael Marasigan and assured they will monitor the progress of the police investigation.

“The Presidential Task Force on Media Security is deeply saddened and strongly condemns, in no uncertain terms, the killing of Michael D. Marasigan, former editor of The BusinessWorld, and his brother, Christopher in San Juan City,” Egco said in a statement.

Egco said upon orders from Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, he told Eastern Police District director Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula “to leave no stone unturned in finding out who are the perpetrators behind this dastardly attack.”

“While it is yet to be confirmed if this incident falls under the mandate of the Task Force in relation to the Administrative Order No. 1 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in protecting the life, liberty, and security of Media Workers, there is a possibility that the killing may be related to Marasigan’s previous work as a journalist,” he said.

Egco said the task force is ready to provide legal assistance to the family of the victims.

“The Task Force is committed in fulfilling its mandate to keep media workers free from any and all forms of threats and violence that may be carried out against them and their families,” he said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the killing of Michael.

Aguirre issued Department Order No. 515 directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to conduct a probe and case build-up on the killing of Marasigan, who worked as a communication consultant at the Department of Finance, and his brother, Christopher.

“I have signed a Department Order instructing the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation into the August 3, 2017 gun attack that killed former media man, Michael D. Marasigan, and his brother, businessman Christopher D. Marasigan, in San Juan City,” Aguirre said.

“Aside from catching the perpetrators, we want to know the real motives behind the attack on the victims. Is it because of Michael Marasigan’s work as a media personality? Is it because of his previous employment with the Department of Finance? As the designated head of President Duterte’s Task Force on Media Security, I am duty-bound to order this probe to get to the bottom of the attack. Our goal is to prevent similar attacks in the future. We want our NBI to explore all angles,” Aguirre added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling and Jeffrey G. Damicog)