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Shots fired at radio station in the Philippines

(IFJ/IFEX) - September 17, 2012 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Philippines (NUJP), in expressing deep concern at shootings by unidentified gunmen at a radio station in Roxas City, in the Capiz Province of the Philippines, on the evening of September 14.

NUJP Roxas City Chapter chairman John Heredia reportedly stated that two men on a single motorcycle fired at the dyOW-Bombo Radyo Roxas City broadcast centre on Arnaldo Boulevard around 9:30pm local time.

Bombo Radyo area manager for Visayas, Warren French, told the NUJP that a number of deskmen, technical staff and a security guard were present at the time of the incident, but no one was injured.

According to a post on the station's Facebook page, a security guard in the nearby Paraiso KTV Bar witnessed the motorcycle and its two riders stopping in front of the station. The rear rider withdrew a gun and fired repeatedly at the building.

Another witness, using the alias "Daday", said she saw the two men ride towards the city's main area immediately after the shooting.

Roxas City Police recovered 11 empty shells of a 9mm pistol and a slug from a gun of unknown calibre. Authorities also discovered bullet marks on steps leading to the building's entrance. Police have been deployed to the radio station, Mr French said.

French said that while the motive behind the shooting has yet to be established, the station had been discussing issues such as the killing of an official and the reprimand of Capiz Provincial Jail officials, by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, over their reported special treatment of a prisoner arrested over drugs.

A report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper on September 17 quoted Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Police Regional Office 6 Director, as saying the police incident report came 12 hours after the shooting occurred. Cruz told the Inquirer he ordered the Roxas City Police chief Salvador Dagoon and Capiz Provincial Police Director Domingo Cabillan to explain the 12-hour delay. Cruz said he has also instructed the
deployment of an extra 30 police officers in the city.

Shootings by unidentified assailants on motorbikes have become a common method of attacking journalists and other media personnel in the Philippines.

Five Bombo Radyo reporters and anchors have been murdered in the Visayas since 1985.

"The IFJ again expresses its deep concern regarding this continuing pattern of escalating violence and attacks against the media in the Philippines throughout 2012," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"We call on the authorities of the Philippines to immediately investigate the shootings and bring to justice those responsible."

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