MANILA, Philippines – A radio broadcaster in Tacloban city filed a complaint against An Waray partylist Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel for allegedly “forcing” his way into the station, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
Manuel “Manix” Marta, a blocktimer at radio station dyBR, said Noel, who is now running for mayor of Tacloban City, angrily stormed into the radio station on April 26 after Marta’s program “Punto de Vista,” along with city council candidates Jing Sumayod, Raissa Villasin and an unnamed female candidate.
“Noel sat on one of the [booth seats]… then frantically and angrily pushed the buttons [on the control board]. He repeatedly said, “Naikabaraton ako! Naikabaraton ako! (I want to reply! I want to reply!),” Marta said in his affidavit, which was filed at the Commission on Elections in Tacloban city.
Marta said Noel seized the microphone away from him, the NUJP added.
The radio broadcaster said the candidate, who is running as an independent but whose slate consists of Liberal Party candidates, also attacked him in another station and called him a “coward.”
Marta said he also received death threats on April 27, when an anonymous caller at the station told him, “Di ka gani umundang pagyinakan babatakon ko hin Granada ito ga istasyon (If you don’t stop talking, I will throw a grenade at your station)!”
The NUJP quoted Marta as saying that these are “clear forms of harassment and intimidation to discourage free political commentary.”
Another complaint has also been filed against Noel for harassment.
The local Daily Express reported that Bernardino “Boy” Hidalgo, a resident of San Jose, Tacloban City said Noel screamed at him and accused him of following his group, according to the NUJP. Hidalgo added that Noel’s bodyguard, SPO2 Narciso Repollo also pointed a gun at him, the NUJP added in the same statement. – Rappler.com