The anchor of the hit real-life police investigation program “SOCO” has helped in solving criminal cases in his 23 years in the broadcast industry.
“With all the years I've spent on the field, covering the most trivial to the most heinous and bizarre crimes, I’ve learned how to talk to suspects,” said Gus Abelgas, whose weekly show now airs after "Bandila" every Friday night.
Gus already lost count how many times his reports were used as evidence in court, although he reckons six to eight cases which were solved with the help of his reports. The cases range from theft to rape, to homicide, and murder.
“My modus operandi (MO) is simple. I just talk to a suspect calmly,” he revealed.
As a “criminal whisperer,” Gus is able to achieve more than what’s expected of journalists. It enables him to go beyond reporting and move towards contributing to the delivery of justice. His interviews and videos make his long years of covering crime news even more useful when they are sought and presented as evidence.
Although he finds the pursuit of truth a grand opportunity to build a legacy in the industry, he also knows it comes with a heavy burden.
“I’ve received death threats from people who are now in jail with my help. These threats have become so common they no longer threaten me,” he said.
But danger isn’t always on Gus’s tail. Many times, he was the one flirting with it in the line of duty. Once he entered enemy territory to interview Bicol region’s former most wanted fugitive, Corp. Jolito “Kumander Awa” Leosala.
“I was eating across the man, and there was a gun on the table. I could have used it against him or he could use it on me,” he shared. Not long after Gus finished his story on “Kumander Awa” in 2002, the rebel was killed by the military.
Experiences like these set Gus apart from his contemporaries. His no-nonsense approach allows no room for gimmicks. His unmistakable voice and deadpan delivery also adds up to the enigmatic appeal that makes him a true icon in crime reporting.
Witness Gus Abelgas work his “MO” as he breaks down the country’s most puzzling crime stories at the 2009 Gawad Tanglaw Best Investigative Program, “SOCO: (Scene of the Crime Operatives), every Friday, right after “Bandila,” only on ABS-CBN.
Also, catch Gus on his weekly radio program “SOCO on DZMM” every Saturday on DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 and DZMM TeleRadyo (SkyCable channel 26).