BY GLENDA SOLOGASTOA
ILOILO – A former mayor of Lezo, Aklan was convicted for shooting to death a radio broadcaster in November 2004.
Judge Sylva Paderanga of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 in Cebu City found Alfredo Arcenio guilty of homicide over the death of Bombo Radyo Kalibo station manager Herson “Boy” Hinolan.
Arcenio was sentenced to an eight- to 14-year jail term and ordered to pay Hinolan’s family P237,500 in damages.
He was originally charged with murder, but the case was downgraded.
Hinolan was shot in Kalibo on Nov. 13, 2004, and died two days later. Arcenio was Lezo mayor at the time.
An arrest warrant for murder was issued against Arcenio in 2006. The suspect went into hiding for more than a year. Later, the charge was downgraded.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) welcomed the conviction but believed Arcenio should have been convicted of murder.
“From what we know of the case, the [former] mayor stalked his target and made sure he was helpless before gunning him down,” NUJP said in a statement.
Through the efforts of NUJP, Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists and the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court in 2008 granted the request of the victim’s wife, Aphrodite, to transfer the case to Cebu City from Aklan.
“Even then, major challenges remained, with two of three prosecution witnesses recanting their statements and backing out,” NUJP said.
“Nevertheless, eight long years since then, we claim a partial victory with Arcenio’s conviction, thanks to the perseverance of Aphrodite and the government prosecutors who defied continuous threats and offers of settlement from Arcenio,” it said./PN