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PIA Press Release

NGOs condemn shooting of Kalinga mediaman

Tabuk City, Kalinga (21 May) -- Non-government organizations such as the National Union of Journalists in the Philippine (NUJP), the Kalinga Media Club (KAMEC), and the Kalinga Apayao Religious Sector Association (KARSA) have condemned the failed assassination of a radio anchor here last Saturday May, 15, 2010.

In a statement, KARSA has "condemned to the strongest term the frustrated murder of Mr. Jerome Tabanganay", 45, senior announcer of the DZRK Radyo ng Bayan Kalinga as they called on the Provincial Government of Kalinga and the local government of Tabuk to review the security measures in the province and also called on the "police for a speedy investigation and resolution of the case".

"It is always sad to hear that in Kalinga, it is easy to steal one's life and the number of victims has already exceeded a thousand marks. But it is doubly shocking when the victim was shot inside his office whom we consider as his home, and that the incident happened in broad day light," the KARSA said.

KARSA likewise commended Tabanganay for being "unflinching in his ministry as a media practitioner whose desire is to inform the public, the truth on what is happening in the province may it be bad or good to which the people of Kalinga deserve to know."

The religious group has likewise lauded Tabanganay's advocacy denouncing "the evils in his midst particularly the undying issue of jueteng, corruption, illegal logging, vote buying, and many more faces of evil that continues to corrupt the people's life and dignity."

The NUJP also immediately aired their statement condemning the attempted assassination and demanded the authorities to act immediately to arrest not only the perpetrators but most importantly the masterminds.

In a letter emailed to a member of the KAMEC, the NUJP challenged the next administration to "take concrete actions to set things right by ensuring the killings end and all those responsible are brought to justice."

Meanwhile, members of the KAMEC have also condemned the dastardly act against their colleague. In a statement, KAMEC President Regino Wacas said that what happened to Tabanganay is unjust saying that "If Jerome is doing his job, let him not be silenced through violence but instead we should help him in his advocacies."

Wacas, who was also at Radyo ng Bayan station when the incident happened, narrated that while winding up his radio program ?Dateline Balbalan', he heard several gunshots. Then he heard Tabanganay calling for help. Wacas immediately responded to help Tabanganay, who was shot in the leg. He rushed Tabanganay to a nearby hospital.

Tabangay, in a press interview recounted that at around 6:43 in the morning of May 15, as he was entering the station, a man partly hidden beside a parked car, called his attention asking his name twice. Sensing danger, Tabanganay rushed inside the station for cover, but apparently his assailant had been waiting for him with gun drawn and was able to hit Tabanganay just below his right knee.

Police say that four empty shells were recovered in the crime scene. The police has created Task Force Agenda to follow up the case.

PNP recently reported that they have already established the identity of the two assailants of Tabanganay. (ggdumallig/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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