Priest says slain Calapan media man was no hero | Inquirer News

Priest says slain Calapan media man was no hero

08:59 PM June 13, 2014

Nilo Baculo

CALAPAN CITY, Philippines—A priest internationally recognized for his environmental advocacy work offered his prayers for slain Capalan broadcaster Nilo Baculo Sr. but said reports portraying him as a “freedom fighter” were a “disservice to the truth.”

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in an e-mail on Friday gave this reaction after netizens posted comments on Facebook criticizing the media’s portrayal of Baculo as a freedom fighter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gariguez said he knew and had documented how Baculo had “manipulated” several people.

Baculo, 67, was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen near his home in Barangay Lalud, Calapan City, on Monday. His sons said their father was working on a story about illegal drugs in the city just before he was killed.

FEATURED STORIES

“I have the documents of Baculo’s manipulation of his Samahang Liham (a group that Baculo organized) promising group members material benefits for him to have big followers and using his position as a radio commentator,” said Gariguez.

The priest said the people who gave their signatures thought that they signed up for membership in Samahang Liham.

“What Baculo did,” added Gariguez, “was to submit the signatures as proof that they (Samahang Liham) agreed to mining activities” of Norwegian firm Intex Resources ASA on the island.

Gariguez said he had the testimony of the people who eventually decided to retract their signatures, which were used by the company in its application for environmental compliance certificate.

The priest, who is on leave as clergy at the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan because of his duties at Nassa-CBCP, was given the Goldman Environment Prize in 2012 for voicing protests on behalf of indigenous communities against large-scale mining projects in the Philippines.

He said Baculo’s records should be closely scrutinized, as it saddened him that because he was a broadcaster, he was “being hailed a hero.”

Activist lawyer Harry Roque had said he would debunk the police’s claims that Baculo was not killed in the line of duty.

ADVERTISEMENT

Roque was Baculo’s counsel when the Supreme Court in March 2008 granted Baculo’s petition for temporary protection against local elected officials allegedly involved in the drug trade. The continuation of the protection order, however, was denied by the Court of Appeals on June 2008 due to lack of evidence proving threats to his life.

Baculo’s burial is set today at Divine Mercy Memorial Park in this city.

RELATED STORY

Slain Mindoro journalist was working on drug story

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS:
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.