Two workers of the Abante News Group were slightly injured when four masked gunmen attacked its printing plant in Parañaque City and attempted to burn it down early Monday, September 9, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in an alert.
The Group publishes the popular tabloids Abante and Abante Tonite. The tabloids have been publishing and posting online stories critical of the Rodrigo Duterte government.
Abante managing editor Fernando Jadulco called the attack “the first violent act against our group and its facilities since 1987.”
The NUJP said it is also believed to be the first attack of its kind on a news outfit in recent history.
Jadulco told NUJP said the attackers stormed the printing plant around 2 a.m. “just as we had finished printing.”
The attackers quickly poured gasoline on the machines and printing supplies and set these on fire.
But the quick response of the Parañaque Fire Station prevented any serious damage to the facility, the NUJP said.
National Capital Region Police Office director Guillermo Eleazar ordered an investigation of the incident, the media group added.
Jadulco said the incident would not disrupt their operations.
“We will continue to publish,” he told the NUJP.
In a separate statement, Jadulco said: “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.”
There are no reports yet of the identities of the gunmen and the reason behind the attacks as of this posting.
In 2006, during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration’s State of National Emergency, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police raided Abante’s office but withdrew upon seeing the presence of television crews. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)