(CMFR/IFEX) — On 23 November 2003, armed men stormed Radyo Natin (RN) radio station in Lupon town, Davao Oriental (123 kilometres from Davao City, southern Philippines). The men beat up a staff member after he refused to reveal the whereabouts of his boss and an anchor.
On 26 November, the Manila-based “Philippine Daily Inquirer” newspaper reported that according to station employee Jun Castro, the suspects were all armed with M-16 rifles and wore ski masks.
Castro told police that as soon as they arrived, the suspects aimed their guns at him while asking for Romeo Bote, Jr., the franchise owner of the station, and anchor Marlo Lim Roman. Castro added that they took turns beating him up using the butts of their firearms when he refused to tell them where Bote and Roman were. The incident took place at approximately 9:45 p.m. (local time).
Bote, who is also the provincial chair of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines), told CMFR the attack may have been politically motivated.
“It is politically motivated. Obviously, there are politicians who were irked by our hard-hitting comments,” Bote said. He declined to name the politicians behind the attack.
Bote added that the incident might also be connected with the fact that he is expecting to run as a councillor in the 2004 elections.
CMFR was not able to reach Roman for comment, but the “Philippine Daily Inquirer” reported that he had received threats a few days before the attack on the station.
For further information, contact
Melinda Quintos de Jesus or Sweet Mary J. Cawicaan,
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR),
2nd Floor, Ateneo Professional Schools,
130 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village,
Makati City, 1227, Philippines,
tel: +63 2 894 1314/1326,
fax: +63 2 840 0889,
The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of CMFR. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit CMFR.
28 November 2003
Source: Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Quezon City