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by Vener Malabanan
Monday, Jul. 03, 2006 at 6:31 AM
email@example.com 213-241-0907 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Pesante-USA vehemently condemn the latest fascist attack against progressive party list organization BAYAN MUNA in Cagayan Valley, Northern Luzon. The latest is the burning of the radio station in Baggao, Cagayan.Eight armed men set a community radio station identified with the left-wing Bayan Muna party list in Baggao, Cagayan on fire Sunday morning, reports from the provincial police said.
Radio station in Cagayan torched
By Villamor Visaya
Last updated 05:25pm (Mla time) 07/02/2006
(2ND UPDATE) GAMU, Isabela - Eight armed men set a community radio station identified with the left-wing Bayan Muna party list in Baggao, Cagayan on fire Sunday morning, reports from the provincial police said.
Senior Supterintendent James Andres Melad, Cagayan police director, said radio station dwRC Radyo Cagayano in Barangay Centro was put up by the militant party list and the local government and had been operating for a month before Sunday’s attack.
Melad said the armed men went to the station at about 2 a.m., poured gasoline on the station's transmitter and booth, and then set these on fire.
"The radio station was totally razed," Chief Superintendent Jefferson Soriano, Cagayan Valley region police director said in a text message.
Police estimated the damage at P2 million.
Before burning down the station, the armed men took the mobile phones of station manager Susan Mapa, technician Richard Remigio and four other staff members, Soriano said.
The six were able to flee to the nearby Saint Dominic Convent. They suffered bruises while escaping, Soriano said.
But an alert from the International Federation of Journalists-National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (IFJ-NUJP) Manila Safety Office said the arsonist “reportedly held at gunpoint, blindfolded and hogtied” Mapa and the other staffers it identified as Erik Ayudan, Arnold Agaraan, Armalyn Badua, Arlyn Areta, and Joy Marcos.
The suspects also apparently fired at the radio station while it was being burned. A burnt empty magazine and two empty shells, and two slugs of .45-caliber pistol were recovered from the scene, Soriano said.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said Bayan Muna party-list had no direct control over the radio station, which he said was supported by local peasant groups.
But he acknowledged, in a phone interview, that the station "has been critical of the military and government since it opened in May."
Melad confirmed this, saying the station was very critical of alleged abuses committed by the military in the Cagayan Valley.
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