MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is taking urgent action in the mauling of a member of the media in La Paz, Iloilo City on Friday.
PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, said on Friday night that the Iloilo City Police Office has been instructed to provide security to radio block timer Pio Hervias, mauled by still unknown assailants.
He said the Iloilo City Police Office has also initiated an in-depth investigation to possibly identify and arrest the suspects, including a city-wide dragnet operation involving random checkpoints.
"Any assault on working journalists is being considered by the PNP as a serious case that deserves prompt and preferential action," said Azurin in a statement.
PNP is confident that the investigation of Hervias’ case will yield positive development in due time, he said.
"Tulong-tulong po tayo para patuloy nating maprotektahan ang mga kasamahan nating mamahayag (Let's help each other so we can continue to protect our fellow journalists)," Azurin said.
In a related development, National Capital Region Police Office chief, Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, on Saturday appealed to the suspect in the killing of veteran radio host Percival Mabasa, more popularly known as “Percy Lapid” to peacefully yield to police authorities while his and his family’s safety is guaranteed.
His appeal for the suspect to voluntarily surrender and not to resist arrest stemmed from the death of John Philip Rodriguez in an armed encounter with the operatives of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Friday afternoon in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City.
Estomo identified the suspect as a notorious gun-for-hire and a drug dealer.
Based on the QCPD report, the suspect fired toward operatives of Bagong Silangan Police Station-QCPD, who were conducting an anti-illegal gambling operation and who approached him after they noticed a firearm protruding from his waist.
"Muli ang aking panawagan at pakiusap sa mga bumaril at pumatay kay Percival Mabasa o kilala sa tawag na ‘Percy Lapid’ na sumuko na habang may pagkakataon pa at huwag nang hintaying mangyari ito at mangtangkang lumaban sa mga awtoridad katulad ng sinapit ng isang member ng ‘gun for hire’ na ito. Inuulit ko ang pakiusap ng ating SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government), Atty. Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos sa pamilya ng mga suspects na ito na boluntaryo nang isuko ang kanilang kamag-anak para sa kanilang kaligtasan (Once again, my call and plea to those who shot and killed Percival Mabasa or known as 'Percy Lapid' to surrender while there is still a chance and not wait for this to happen and try to fight the authorities like what happened to a member of 'gun for hire'. I repeat the request of our SILG, Atty Benjamin 'Benhur' Abalos to the family of these suspects to voluntarily surrender their relatives for their safety)," said Estomo. (PNA)