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PTFOMS condemns Manibela members’ violent attack vs Media

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MALACAÑANG – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) strongly denounced the physical attack perpetrated by members of the transport group, ‘MANIBELA” against a member of the press while covering a transport strike staged by the group early today in Quezon City.

Undersecretary Paul M. Gutierrez, PTFoMS executive director, said that the physical abuse committed against Val Gonzales, a veteran field reporter from radio station DZRH, cannot earn any public support from the transport group or to the issues they are trying to promote.

Based on Gutierrez’s personal talk with Gonzales and reports to the task force from other members of the press, Gonzales was punched in the waist at least twice by a member of MANIBELA, for no apparent reason, while fielding his report along East Avenue, Quezon City, which they closed to traffic. The resulting traffic jam can be felt all the way to Commonwealth Avenue.

“Mariin natin kinokondena ang karahasan na ito laban sa isang kagawad ng media, sa katauhan ni kasamang Val Gonzales, na gumaganap lamang sa kanyang tungkulin sa pag-uulat ng mga kaganapan sa ating bansa,” Gutierrez said.

He added that he already coordinated with Quezon City Police District director, P/BGen. Red Maranan, to summon MANIBELA chairman, Mario Valbuena, for the violent acts of his members.

Gutierrez further bared that during an earlier transport strike staged by MANIBELA, DZBB field reporter, Allan Gatus, was also verbally abused by the strikers.

“At ganito rin ang sumbong sa atin ng ating mga kasamahang reporter sa transport strike ngayong araw. Bukod sa pananakit kay Val Gonzales, hayagan ding inakusahan ng mga kasapi ng MANIBELA ang mga nag-cover na media nang pagiging ‘bayaran’ at umano’y pagiging ‘biased’ laban sa kanilang grupo.

“Kung inaakala ng grupo ni Mr. Valbuena na ang ganitong mga paratang at pandarahas sa hanay ng midya ay makatutulong sa kanilang ipinaglalaban, nagkakamali sila. Naniniwala tayong hindi susuportahan ng publiko ang mga hakbang na may kaasamang pandarahas at pananakot.”

Gutierrez said the task force is also ready to support Gonzales who manifested his desire to sue the transport group.

“We assure Val Gonzales that the PTFoMS is fully supportive of his decision to sue those involved in the attack against him,” Gutierrez said.|

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