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Authorities must investigate bombing of radio station, says IFJ

(IFJ/IFEX) - May 25, 2011 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls for an immediate investigation into an arson attack on a government-owned radio station in Tabuk, in Kalinga province in the northern Philippines, on May 24.

IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reports that three unidentified men threw home-made gasoline bombs at the premises of dzRK Radyo ng Bayan, part of the Philippines Broadcasting Service, at about 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Security guards on duty were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread.

"Local police must conduct a full investigation into this attack on the installations of a government-owned media outlet without delay," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"An attack of this nature on a publicly funded broadcaster is an affront both to free expression and the public service, and cannot go unpunished."

Jerome Tabanganay, a local announcer who hosts the program Agenda on dzRK, believes the station's reporting on an illegal lottery game known as "jueteng" may be the motivation for the attack.

Tabanganay, who is known for his anti-corruption stance, was himself injured in an attempted murder at the station on May 14, 2010, just four days after the Philippines presidential election delivered a landslide victory to President Benigno Aquino III.
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    A gunman shot DzRK Radyo ng Bayan-Kalinga journalist Jerome Tabanganay four times. Initial police investigations said the incident was work-related.

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