Iloilo radioman mauled, blames ‘onion-skinned’ officials | Inquirer News
RMN blocktimer attacked as he was leaving station

Iloilo radioman mauled, blames ‘onion-skinned’ officials

/ 05:20 AM October 08, 2022

ILOILO CITY—A radio commentator on Friday pointed to “onion-skinned public officials” after being beaten up by a group of men in hoodies and face masks outside the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) Iloilo building in this city.

Florencio Hervias received treatment for facial injuries at Western Visayas Medical Center after the attack, which was seen as another case of violence against the media only five days after the murder of veteran broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa in Las Piñas City on Oct. 3.

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“With what is happening now, it shows that media practitioners aren’t well-protected, especially when they prick the feelings of onion-skinned public officials. They can do what they want,” Hervias told the Inquirer.

The attack occurred after the blocktimer finished the day’s edition of “Banwa Binag-binaga” (Nation, Think) that he cohosted with Roy Cejar, during which they criticized local and national officials over certain government projects.

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Hervias said he had seen his attackers as he was leaving the RMN building and before they charged at him.

Wearing a helmet

“When I got on my motorcycle and put on my helmet, I saw two men looking at me,” he recalled.

“After I hung the plastic bag I bought, they just started hitting me. They started with my head. Since I was wearing a helmet, they may have hit the visor, and maybe that’s how I got my injuries in my eyebrows and lips,” Hervias said.

He said the perpetrators crossed Luna Street in front of St. Clement’s Church and fled in a vehicle.

Hervias said he had reported the incident to the La Paz Police Station.

The Philippine National Police said it was taking “urgent action” on Hervias’ case by providing him security. Along with the investigation to identify and arrest the suspects, “a city-wide dragnet operation involving random checkpoints” was launched, the PNP said.

“Any assault on working journalists is being considered by the PNP as a serious case that deserves prompt and preferential action,” PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said.

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Hervias said he and his cohost spoke at length about the Mandurriao Public Market during Friday’s program, a topic that he said might have provoked the attack.

Councilor’s post

The radio host also cited a Facebook post on Wednesday, supposedly by Councilor Plaridel Nava, that read: “Roy Cejar [and] Flo Hervias … hehehe.”

The post was no longer on Nava’s Facebook page on Friday, but one of the new messages read: “Choose your battles wisely. #round1KO #moretogo Hehehe!”

Reached by the Inquirer, Nava denied any hand in the attack on Hervias.

“I have nothing to do with the attack against that person although he maligned me and called me a thief in public. If he believes otherwise, they should file a case in court,” he said in a text message.

“As to the (Facebook) posts: It has nothing to do with that. Did it mention (anything) about Hervias? Why connect it to Hervias?” Nava said.

His latest post, the councilor said, referred to a case filed against More Power, the city’s electricity supplier, over an increase in power rates.

—WITH A REPORT FROM DEXTER CABALZA
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