Iligan City commentator attacked inside announcer's booth

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the attack on a radio commentator and long-time Philippine Star correspondent in Iligan City. Lino dela Cruz reported that he was attacked and threatened by three people while anchoring a block-time program for station dxLS, Love Radio - Serbisyo sa Katawhan Una sa Tanan (Service to the People First and Foremost) which is paid for by the provincial government of Lanao del Norte. The incident took place at about 12:30 pm 18th March. Dela Cruz said he was criticizing Casan Maquiling, a former board member of Lanao del Norte and former mayor of the municipality of Munai, when two men and a woman who identified herself as Maquiling's elder sister accosted him inside the announcer's booth. According to Dela Cruz, one of the two men grabbed him by the throat and told him to stop making negative commentaries against Maquiling. Maquiling is running for governorship of Lanao del Norte under the Liberal Party against incumbent governor Khaled Dimaporo. Dela Cruz, who only recently began anchoring on the time program, said he had earlier spoken against Maquiling after the latter criticized Abdullah Dimaporo, father of the incumbent governor, for refusing to sign a covenant among local candidates calling for peaceful elections in May.  Dimaporo is running for a congressional seat in the 2nd District of Lanao del Norte.  Dela Cruz also discussed Maquiling's alleged support for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). “Journalists in the Philippines must be able to exercise their duties free from reprisals and intimidation,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. Freedom of the press is an essential pillar of democracy.  We demand that the government of the Philippines investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice, demonstrating a commitment to their national and international legal obligations which guarantee Filipino citizens freedom of expression and an independent media” Forfurther information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 TheIFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries Findthe IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific Findthe IFJ on Facebook: