Broadcaster arrested while hosting program in Camarines Norte

CMFR/PHILIPPINES — A radio broadcaster was arrested on September 15 while hosting his radio program in Daet City, Camarines Norte.

Daet City is 529 km south of Manila.

Agents of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) served an arrest order issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Winston Racoma of Branch 39 in Daet against Rommel Ibasco Fenix, production manager at dzAU-AM, during his program, “Fenix Files” which was also broadcast live on the station’s Facebook page. According to Fenix’s Facebook group dedicated to the program, Fenix Files aims to expose corrupt politicians and their illegal activities.

Fenix, along with fellow journalists Jun “Bagwis” Avila, Nolito Banaria, Irene Cambronero and Bernie Patiag, were charged with three counts of libel. The complaint was filed by provincial board members Romeo Marmol and Rodolfo Gache. Separate charges of libel and violating the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 were also filed by Governor Edgardo Tallado.

Fenix said all the charges were revived after being provisionally dismissed earlier.

It is not yet certain as of this posting whether Avila, Banaria and Patiag have also been arrested, but Fenix and Cambronero posted bail and have been released. Avila is also the subject of multiple libel cases filed by Tallado, forcing the station he used to work for to terminate his services, reportedly for fear of reprisal.