By JAN ARCILLA
September 10, 2019
FOUR unidentified men forced their way inside the Abante News Group publishing building in
Parañaque City after midnight on Monday, poured gasoline on newspapers in its production area and set the place on fire.
Marivic Furaganan, the security guard on duty, said the hooded armed men suddenly arrived and threatened with their guns the personnel present.
The fire was declared out at 2:10 a.m.
The Abante News Group condemned the attack.
“The management and staff of Abante and Tonite condemn this dastardly attack, the first violent act against our group and its facilities since 1987. We will not be cowed by this attempt to strike fear into our reporters, editors and staff. Our commitment to hard-hitting journalism remains unshaken,” said Abante
Managing Editor Fernando Jadulco in a statement.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said it would “leave no stone unturned” in making accountable those behind the “vicious attack.”
Presidential Communications Undersecretary and PTFoMs Executive Director Joel Egco “strongly denounced” the attack that injured two workers of the publication.
Egco said he immediately directed Lt. Col. Eder Collantes, the task force chief of investigation, to investigate the attack following the directives of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, PTFoMS co-head.
“[Abante’s publisher] Rey Marfil called me and he was very concerned with what happened. He told me that they are not critical of the present administration and does not know any individual or group that may carry out such a dastardly act against the publication,” Egco said.
“We will leave no stone unturned in pursuing this case and we will get to the bottom of this,” he added.
Andanar, a columnist of Abante, also condemned “this affront against press freedom.”
“I totally denounce this cowardly act against a respected news organization such as Abante. There is no room for media violence in this administration,” Andanar said.
With a reports from CATHERINE VALENTE
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