ON JUNE 10, 2012, gunmen on a motorcycle ambushed Davao Region-based journalist Cha Monforte in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.
Monforte, a publisher of a local weekly and stringer for the state-owned Philippines News Agency, survived the attack with a bullet wound in the leg.
Timoteo Pacleb, then the Compostela Valley police chief, said that an investigation was being conducted.
That was four years ago, but police have not released a report on the motive and who were behind the frustrated assassination of Monforte.
There are many speculations why somebody wanted Monforte dead.
Was Monforte linked to illegal drugs dealing? Did drug lords want him dead because he demanded hush money on threat of exposing their racket?
Were Illegal loggers and miners want him dead because he demanded large sums of money to keep his mouth closed on their illegal activities?
Was there a woman involved?
One of these speculations could be true, especially that Monforte was strong on his anti-drug and logging and mining concerns. Rumors about romance with a married woman also spread after the failed attempt.
The police should reinvestigate the Monforte shooting.
The fact that Monforte did not pursue the case to provide police evidence to use against his attackers should raise a lot of questions.
Did drug lords, if Monforte was demanding hush money, simply let him go after the failed assassination attempt and merely give in to his extortion?
Did the illegal miners and loggers, did the same and made peace with Monforte by giving monthly dole outs to close his mouth?
Possibilities are all over the air as Monforte has not shown any interest to run after the killers.
And this should concern the police because if these speculations are true, then a member of the media is now a protector of drug lords and illegal miners and loggers.
Also, the non-resolution of the Monforte shooting placed in question the credibility of the journalist about his calling and the truthfulness of his reports. There is something mysterious in Monforte forgetting the slay attempt. Is he hiding something?
Which should concern the people of Davao del Norte.
Monforte has emerged as the main propagandist for Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio, who is battling Congressman Anthony del Rosario in the race for governor in the May election.
Candidates are as good as their drumbeaters. They are only credible if their spokesmen and publicists are credible. Only candidates who are credible deserve to be elected.
Is Monforte credible?
Police had not solved the Monforte shooting which raised many questions as Monforte also has not shown interest to pursue the case. And tongues are wagging. Unless the case is resolved, Monforte has to face the consequences.
Monforte should come out in the open to make himself clean amidst these speculations that could be wild, or true.
He is speculated to be getting drug money from druglords who failed to liquidate him.
He is speculated to be on the take from illegal loggers and miners.
Suaybaguio is aware of the Monforte shooting. Why did he take in the journalist as his propagandist despite questions about his credibility?
If Monforte is suspected as protector of drug lords, illegal miners and loggers, can we also suspect Suaybaguio as the protector of these scums of the earth? This we cannot answer. But this should be looked into by police given that Suaybaguio is running for the top post in Davao del Norte. Also, this being political season, those who have no love for Monforte may take advantage of the situation, carry out ugly plans and finish what they did not accomplish four years ago— which could lead to the deadly act tagged as politically-motivated.
DavNor voters should ponder on this possibilities when they go to the polls on E-Day in May.
Will they vote for a candidate for governor whose propagandist is suspected as a protector of criminals?