CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — The Bulacan Press Club, through its president, Frederick Silverio, has denounced that intimidation made by a barangay official of Bulihan, Plaridel on four mediamen covering the culling of livestock in the said village on Tuesday (Sept. 24).
The four mediamen were identified as Jose Erwin Bunag, Isagani Navarro, who are both GMA news cameramen, Louie Angeles of DWIZ and Ricardo Mirasol of the Tabloid Remate
Silverio said “We strongly condemned such act of arrogant of this public sevant… particularly how he threatened our colleagues during [a news] coverage.”
He added that they are calling for the attention of Martin Dino, Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to look in the matter.
Col. Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan police director, confirmed that the mediamen led by “GMA stringers” has filed a blotter report at the Plaridel Police Station on the said incident.
Bunag said that they have already sent a copy of the video and voice clip of the barangay official, whom he identified as Kagawad Arnel Gonzales, to the presidential Taskforce on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Maguiza Sy Egco.
After receiving the video clip and incident report on the matter, Egco said that they “will take it from here.”
Bunag and Cruz, together with Angeles and Mirasol confirmed that they went to the Barangay Hall of Bulihan, Plaridel on Tuesday to inquire about the culling of swine suspected to be infected by ASF in the village and happened to chance the presence of the municipal veterinarian who declined to be interviewed.
As the four mediamen were about to leave the place, a barangay official, whom Bunag identified as Kagawad Arnel Gonzales, allegedly badmouthed the mediamen and demanded that the video footages be deleted.
The barangay official claimed that the mediamen did not ask permission to take video footages and warned that cases will be filed against them, Bunag said and added that Gonzalez even tried to take away the camera of the mediamen.
A copy of the video and voice clip of the incident can clearly hear the said barangay official threatening the mediamen to be buried in the pit where culled swines suspected to be afflicted with African Swine Fever (ASF) are being buried.
Meanwhile, Bulacan officials are still tight-lipped on the issue of ASF in Bulacan despite the incident, no advisories were being released to Bulacan media on the culling and depopulation of livestock suspected to be afflicted with the viral animal disease.
No advisories are also given if there is a task force created on ASF nor what agencies are involved in the 1-7-10 quarantine protocol that the Department of Agriculture is implementing in Barangay Pritil in Guiguinto town that it identified as an outbreak area for the disease.
No advisories are also being released whether the scores of dead swine livestock found in Malolos and other places of Bulacan are caused by the viral and contagious animal disease that has a 100 percent mortality on swine. (RONDA Balita Online News)