A week after the assassination attempt on journalist Virgilio Maganes, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura or SINAG today (November 15, 2016) offered a reward of Php50,000 for any information that would lead to the arrest of those behind the attack on Maganes.
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Salas, Comelec provincial election supervisor, in Dagupan City last October 16.CESAR RAMIREZ
“Farmers in the province of Pangasinan have raised the reward money in order to help authorities investigating the case. Isang linggo na, wala pa ring linaw sa kaso” said Rosendo So, SINAG Chair.
“We want those responsible apprehended and charged accordingly, we are very alarmed that non-drug personalities like Maganes, would have simply been reduced as a statistic in the current “war on drugs,” had he not survived the attempt on his life,” added So.
Maganes is a columnist of Pangasinan-based newspaper Northern Watch and a broadcaster of Dagupan-based dwPR. He escaped death by pretending to be dead inside the tricycle he was riding. There was also a cardboard sign “posser ako, wag tularan” near the scene of the assassination attempt.
According to SINAG, the real motive for the brazen attempt to kill Maganes was to silence journalists like him who, for years, reverberate the daily struggles of the marginal sectors, especially the farmers and other small producers of the country.
The multi-agri industry alliance is also calling on the newly created Presidential Task Force on Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Members of the Media to look into the Maganes incident.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar was then quoted as saying that the task force was given the duty of “ensuring a safe environment for media workers.”
“This is the first attempted murder on a journalist since the creation of the task force, this is therefore their first test case,” continued So.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Pangasinan chapter also appealed to the Philippine National Police to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of the case.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) earlier denounced the assassination attempt on Maganes. The NUJP also expressed apprehension that the assassins attempted to disguise the crime as another of the summary executions that have claimed thousands of lives since the Duterte administration came into power.
The NUJP demanded authorities in Dagupan City and Pangasinan to act speedily to investigate the attempt on Maganes’ life and ensure his safety. They also called on authorities to bring an end to the brazen killings, whether drug-related or disguised to appear so, and restore the rule of law and due process. ###