Unidentified men set fire to the facilities and equipment of a radio station in San Jose town, Occidental Mindoro province early Wednesday morning, causing up to P10 million in damage.
Daisy Leano, program manager of dzVT 1395, said the blaze was started around 1:00 a.m. at the station compound in Bgy (village) Labangan.
Burned were the station’s 5-kilowatt AM transmitter, an FM transmitter, sound and engineering equipment, 10 desktop computers and two laptops.
Leano said there was an earlier attempt to torch the station on October 20.
“Nakita lang po ng technician on duty. Naapula po ang apoy pero yung generator set ay nasunog (The technician on duty was able to see the fire. It was put off but the generator set was burned),” she said. “Pero nakapag-broadcast pa kami kasi may power supply pa (We were still able to go on air because we still have power supply).”
“But in a matter of five days, tinuluyan na. (the station was finally burned),”she added.
Nobody was able to witness the incident, said Leano.”Ni hindi tumahol ang mga aso (Even the dogs did not bark).”
In a phone interview, the Philippine National Police in San Jose town said they have yet to identify the perpetrators. However, PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Artemio Hicban implicated the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) in the incident.
But Leano told Radyo Veritas and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines: “Wala po kaming official statement na ang apoy ay galing sa NPA (We do not have any official statement that NPA was behind the burning).”
She did say the incident could be politically-motivated because their station airs commentary programs.
“Hindi maiiwasan na may masasagasaan. Pero isa lang ang tinuturo ng mga tao dito. Meron po silang tinuturong politiko. (We cannot avoid hitting certain personalities. But residents here are pointing to only one politician as being behind this),” she said.
The Diocese of Occidental Mindoro will meet with dzVT officials this afternoon. Leano said with the extent of damages, they could not go on air.