Digos City police provide protection to local journalistsBy Orlando B. Dinoy
DIGOS CITY, Philippines – The city police office has provided security to broadcasters at a radio station here following an attempt by two gunmen to enter the station’s compound on Friday.
Superintendent Allan Manibog, city police chief, said he ordered the tightening of security for announcers of MUEWS Radio and other journalists in the city after the foiled entry of the “unidentified” gunmen.
Based on police investigation, the two men, armed with handguns, arrived at the MUEWS station on Lim Street – some five meters away from the headquarters of the police’s Criminal Detection and Investigation Group – on a motorcycle and tried to enter the station.
Abdul Rakman Jamad, one of MUEWS Radio’s anchormen, told the police he noticed the armed men as they were entering the station and immediately informed the security guard about them.
Jamad said the guard on duty – whom he did not identify – immediately readied his 12-gauge shotgun for firing and asked the men what their purpose was.
He said the men did not respond and immediately left the station’s premises instead.
Jing Panogadia, a MUEWS reporter, said the armed men had obvious ill-motive as they were previously seen in the company of a Davao del Sur mayor, who was being heavily criticized by the station’s anchormen for alleged irregularities.
Panogadia said the fact that the two men were armed proved they did not come to the station in good faith.
Jun Blanco, a MUEWS commentator, said days prior to the arrival of the two men, he and some of his colleagues had already been receiving death threats from unknown quarters through SMS.
Manibog said an “in depth” investigation of the incident has started to determine the identity of the two men and their purpose in coming to the station with firearms.
He also said that aside from those working with MUEWS Radio, the police have also taken steps to ensure the safety of other journalists in the province.
Many journalists in Davao del Sur were known to work for rival politicians and host blocktime programs in such stations as MUEWS Radio.
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