Sister of middleman in broadcaster’s murder placed under witness protection

THE SISTER of the alleged middleman involved in the killing of a local broadcaster has been placed under the Witness Protection Program, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Tuesday. 

“When she arrived here at the DoJ, she gave Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla information about her dead brother and we found that the information was relevant to his death,” DoJ spokesman Jose Dominic F. Clavano IV told reporters in mixed English and Filipino, based on a video posted by state-run media People’s Television Network on Twitter. 

Senator Rafael “Raffy” T. Tulfo said in a statement on Tuesday that the woman sought his help on Monday. She later revealed during the lawmaker’s radio program that her brother told her before his death that three individuals may kill him in the national penitentiary. 

The senator and his brother, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo, put her in contact with the Justice department. 

“There were names mentioned but all of these are allegations as of now,” Mr. Clavano said. “So now we have to verify and vet this information.” 

The Justice secretary earlier said one of the middlemen who contracted the killers died of unknown causes. He also said there was a second middleman whom police had detained.  

Last week, the alleged gunman in the murder of 63-year-old Percival Mabasa surrendered to authorities and said he had been hired by someone inside the national penitentiary. He and three other accomplices supposedly got paid P550,000.  

The broadcaster’s YouTube channel which had more than 200,000 subscribers showed he had been critical of ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte and some policies of current officials.  

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police said it will ask for help from the Tulfo brothers to examine the woman’s mobile phone for possible leads.  

“Maybe they can help us with the turnover of the sister’s cellphone so we could conduct a forensic examination and it would form part of the evidence that would lead to the mastermind,” national police chief Rodolfo S. Azurin told ABS-CBN Teleradyo on Tuesday. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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