Radioman nabbed in drug bust mere ‘volunteer reporter’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The radioman who was arrested by authorities during a drug buy-bust Sunday was a mere “volunteer reporter” and not a full-time employee, his employer said Tuesday (March 27).

Radyo Bandera Network (RBN) president and chief executive officer Elgin Robert Damasco admitted that Lodymer Jagos had been a reporter and anchorman for the network’s local affiliate, Marian Radio, prior to the latter’s arrest on drug charges Sunday.

Damasco said Jagos, 29, had no employee-employer relationship with the station, and that the network immediately ordered affiliates to ensure that none of its personnel are involved in illegal drugs or other criminal activities.

Damasco said RBN is coordinating with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the conduct of drug test on all its personnel.

The RBN executive said he was “deeply saddened by the involvement” of Jagos in illegal drugs.

“We would like to clarify that the act committed by Jagos is his personal activity and is not connected in any way with the radio station, the management and the network,” he added.

Police Supt. Mardy Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) spokesperson, said they are conducting follow-up operations to arrest Jagos’ cohorts.

The operation to entrap Jagos took two weeks of planning and surveillance, Hortillosa said, adding that information they gathered showed that the suspect had various “suppliers” in the city.

In an interview, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) chapter president Tito Monterde said Jagos does not belong to their group. He added that local radio stations should not have allowed non-KBP members to work as reporters or commentators.

The Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) also denied that Jagos was its member.

“The COPC condemns any illegal act perpetrated by members of the press. As purveyors of truth, justice and peace, we the media community strictly adhere to what is right and just in the exercise of our profession,” said COPC president Ruffy Magbanua.

Jagos maintained he was innocent of the charges. Jigger Jerusalem/PNA-northboundasia.com