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MANILA, Philippines - A radio commentator in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, claims that he was harassed while at work by men of gubernatorial candidate Casan Maquiling.
In a report by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday, March 19, Lino dela Cruz of radio station dxLS Love Radio-Iligan said he was attacked afternoon of Monday by two men and a woman when he took a short break from his radio duty.
He narrated that one of the two men grabbed him by the throat and told him to stop making negative commentaries against Maquiling. The woman even identified herself as Maquiling's elder sister.
Dela Cruz told Rappler that the attackers only let go of him when the station's resident technician approached them. Maquiling's men made a threat that they would be back.
Dela Cruz anchors a block-time afternoon radio program paid for by the provincial government of Lanao del Norte. The incumbent governor, Khaled Dimaporo, will run for re-election and will be challenged by Maquiling.
The commentator had spoken against Maquiling on air after the latter criticized Abdullah Dimaporo, father of the governor, for refusing to sign a covenant with local candidates for peaceful elections in May. He also discussed Maquiling's alleged support for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) when he was still mayor of Munai town.
Maquiling's son, incumbent Munai Mayor Muammar Maquiling, denied this when he spoke with Rappler. "We're surprised with this report. I'm thinking that this is just black propaganda. That's not how my father does politics," he said.
Dela Cruz, meanwhile, has reported the incident to the police. "But I have to consult [with Dimaporo], because I think he's the main target of the attack." - Rappler.com
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