ABS-CBN news team survives gun attack in Marawi City
MAMBAJAO, Camiguin – A news team from the ABS-CBN station survived an attack by still unidentified men in Barangay Banggolo in Marawi City past noontime on Saturday.
Ronnie Enderes, the news team’s reporter, told the Inquirer by phone that they had just followed up a story on another bomb attack on a power pylon in Barangay Lanao Ramain – also in Marawi City – when they noticed being tailed by armed men on two motorcycles.
Enderes said he and his companions – cameraman Emelito Balansag and driver Garry Montecillo – were on their way back to Iligan City when the attack took place.
He said Montecillo stepped on the gas pedal in a bid to lose the men but they too sped up.
Enderes said upon reaching Banggolo, the armed men fired shots at them, hitting the driver’s side of their vehicle.
“None of us were hurt but we could not describe the fear we felt,” he said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Iligan- Lanao del Norte chapter, which Enderes heads, strongly condemned the incident.
The NUJP also urged the military and the police to take a serious action against lawless elements in Marawi City.
Police authorities said they still had no clue on the motive and identities of the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN on Saturday night, issued a statement on the Marawi ambush.
The statement in full:
“ABS-CBN News condemns in the strongest terms the attack Saturday on our News team by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Bangolo, Marawi City.
“The 3-man News team composed of reporter Ronnie Enderes, cameraman Emilito Balansag, and driver Gary Montecillo was traveling back to Iligan from Ramain, Lanao del Sur where they covered the bombing of a tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
“According to our news team, the gunmen riding in two motorcycles started following them from Marawi City. One assailant fired at the driver’s side, hitting the door and narrowly missing Montecillo. Another fired at the front passenger’s side, the bullet grazing the lower portion of the door.
“We are relieved that Ronnie, Emilito, and Gary are safe and unharmed. We are also grateful to the Philippine Army’s 103rd Brigade for providing temporary refuge to our News team.
“We urge the authorities to investigate this ambush and bring the perpetrators to justice soonest, even as we vow to continue with our duties as journalists.”
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