PBN anchors fear for life; PTFoMS vows to go after murderers of Lozada
Members of the public affairs team of the Prime Broadcasting Network (PBN) in Bislig City, which slain broadcaster Christopher Lozada left behind, had refused to report for work anymore for fear of being next to he killed, the PBN management said on Thursday.
Edgar Delivo, PBN chief executive officer, told the Inquirer by text message that among those who refused going to work following the killing of Lozada on Tuesday included anchors Bong Nokil and Chris Galvez.
Nokil hosted the 6-7 a.m. daily program “Kamatooran,” while Galvez was host of “Krusada,” which airs from 4-5 p.m. daily.
“There was this rumor that they will package the remaining radio personnel. My personnel were now afraid,” Delivo said.
He said he tried to encourage his radio personnel to just continue with their programs but they refused.
“No matter how I encouraged the team (they refused),” Delivo said.
Delivo said he and the PBN management were not taking the rumor lightly because “they killed one already.”
“The threat is not a joke,” Delivo added.
He said he was seeking help from every possible person, who could help secure his radio personnel in Bislig.
“This is alarming,” Delivo added.
Lozada was anchorman and general manager of PBN 101.7 FM in Bislig City.
On Tuesday, he had just arrived home in Barangay Coleta in Bislig – along with his girlfriend, Honey Faith Indog, when attacked by armed men on a van.
Lozada died there and then, while Indog survived bullet injuries.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said in a statement that prior to Lozada’s killing, it has issued a red-flag letter warning to Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro.
The letter was sent on October 24, according to PTFoMs head, Undersecretary Joel Egco.
“(B)ut Lozada was killed even before the letter could reach the mayor,” he said. /jpv
Egco said the red flag warning against Navarro was prompted by the complaint that Lozada had earlier filed with the PTFoMS, in which, he claimed that the mayor had been threatening him.
Egco said Lozada claimed that Navarro even sent him text messages, warning him “to leave Bislig if you do not want to die,” and that “he would step down with Lozada, who will go to the cemetery since his days are numbered.”
Lozada was among those who filed graft charges against Navarro. Recently, the Ombudsman ordered the executive’s dismissal from service over the alleged irregular purchase of heavy equipment.
In an interview in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, Navarro denied any hand in the killing of Lozada, saying he even condemned it.
“I can hold my head up high and say I am innocent and my conscience is clear,” he said.
Navarro said he and Lozada were even related.
“He is like a son to me,” he said, adding that his mother was related to the Lozadas.
“I am open to any investigation and I will face in court anybody who’s interested to file (cases against me),” he added.
Once he gets back to Bislig, Navarro said he will “look into it (Lozada’s killing)” and order that “a fair and proper investigation of the case be extended to the family so the truth will come out.”
Egco said he had already instructed Supt. Eder Collantes of the Task Force Usig “to immediately investigate the killing and update our office of their investigation.”
Egco said he had warned Navarro as early as October 24 that “in case any untoward incident happens to (Lozada), we will include you (the mayor) as possible perpetrator of the same.”
“We will take active participation in the filing of case against the perpetrators of his murder, furnishing the police and the prosecutors’ office, all documentary evidence we have collated,” Egco said. /jpv