Radio Anchor Mauled in Negros Occidental
CMFR/PHILIPPINES – Two men injured a local radio anchor in Talisay, Negros Occidental on 16 February 2018. On February 27, the victim filed a complaint against one of the suspects with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Negros Occidental is 783 kilometers south of Manila.
It was around 8 p.m. when Ranilo “Ranie” Azue, anchor of 104.7 FM Muews was attacked while he was fixing his motorcycle on Barangay Zone 1 in front of the Vaflor Building where the radio station is located. Azue anchors the radio program “Puntos (Points)” aired from Monday to Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. He also writes for the Iloilo-based newspaper Panay News.
Azue told CMFR that he recognized Niño Alcala, whom he knows as a former city hall employee and now a Facebook blogger, approached him and hit him with a “blunt object.” When he fell to the ground, Alcala and a still unidentified man started punching and kicking him. When people started to watch the commotion, the attackers fled separately on their motorcycles.
Sustaining injuries from the body blows, Azue was hospitalized for three days. He said that he had been receiving threats from Alcala in the past year. Alcala has also been attacking the journalist on his regular live commentary in the FB page “Tingog sng Talisaynon (Voice of Talisaynon)”
The incident was reported to the Talisay police on February 16 and a complaint was filed with the NBI Negros Occidental and the Presidential Task Force for Media Security (PTFoMS) on February 27.
Azue told CMFR that the attack was premeditated. The broadcaster and his lawyers are planning to file charges of frustrated murder or homicide against Alcala.
In response, Alcala denied Azue’s allegations in a February 19 Panay News report. He said that the latter “threw the first punch.” Alcala was also quoted in the paper, “The bottomline is, ano nga klase ka media practice ina ang pribado nga tawo hali nila ka mulay kag akusar kon nano na lang sa kahanginan (The bottomline is, what kind of media practice it is to attack and accuse private individuals of alleged wrongdoings on air.)… They don’t even have a business permit.”
Alcala said he is ready to face Azue’s charges.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines – Bacolod Chapter and the Negros Press Club condemned the attack and called on authorities for a speedy investigation.