MANILA, Philippines — A broadcaster was mauled by an alleged supporter of Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares III after he finished hosting his radio program Friday night.
Colleagues of Ranie Azue, anchorman of Muews Negros 104.7 FM based in Talisay, said the former president of the Negros Press Club was starting his motorcycle when Niño Alcala, who was driving another motorcycle with another man riding pillion, almost rammed him.
Azue, who also writes for regional daily Panay News and also anchors a blocktime program about peasant issues in a Bacolod radio station, managed to evade him but Alcala got off his motorcycle and began beating up the journalist, who did not fight back because his attacker’s companion made as if to draw a weapon.
The journalist suffered bruises and welts.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chapter in Bacolod City immediately issued a statement condemning the assault on Azue, saying: “An attack on journalists, as guardians of truth, is a threat to our democracy.”
It also called on authorities to “swiftly investigate the incident and bring all those responsible to justice.”
Azue’s colleagues said they reported the incident immediately to police but were told they needed a warrant to arrest Alcala.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security instructed Talisay police chief, Superintendent Adonis Rosales, “to secure the victim, pursue the suspects and file the appropriate charges.”