Grenade blast hits radio station’s van in Albay
LEGAZPI CITY — A grenade explosion lobbed by a still unidentified person destroyed the engine of pickup van owned by a local radio station in Albay province parked in a subdivision in this city early Sunday morning, police said.
Senior Supt. Nilo Berdin, Legazpi City police chief, said that the van, a service vehicle of Zagitsit FM radio station, was parked along the road in Our Lady’s Village Subdivision in Barangay (village) Bitano when the suspect hurled the grenade under it at about 1:15 a.m.
Berdin said the van was several meters away from the house of Hermogenes “Jun” Alegre Jr., owner and station manager of Zagitsit FM station and former president of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Albay chapter.
A Mitsubishi Lancer car was also damaged where police investigators recovered fragments of a still unknown grenade.
Alegre, in a phone interview, said he was awakened by his son Mark Angelo informing him of the blast near their house.
Alegre, who handles a daily morning public affairs program, said that he suspects that influential people and politicians hit by his commentary were behind the grenade explosion.
Alegre said he considers the incident as a “harassment to stop us from exposing irregularities.” He, however, did not give further details on his suspicions.
He said the incident was already the third incident aimed against the station. The first was in 2016 when the windshield of the station service van that was parked at the radio station’s parking area was broken by unknown people. It was followed by a shooting incident last year where a helmeted gunman on board motorcycle fired at the car driven by Carlos Sassis, an anchorman of the station, who was maneuvering his car at the parking area in front of the station.
“I and Zagitsit management strongly condemned the incident, this is an attempt to silence us. A blatant attack to press freedom,” Alegre said. /je
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