Army colonel threatens Cotabato radio reporter on coverage

An Army colonel threatened a radio reporter in Cotabato City who was
covering the fire late last week that razed an ammunition dump in
Camp Siongco, headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division, in Awang,
Maguindanao.

NUJP chapters in central Mindanao reported that Col. John Oswald Bucu,
commander of the 6th ID’s Headquarters Service Battalion, berated
Loreto Rosario, reporter of radio station dxMS and member of the NUJP
chapter in Cotabato City, calling him an “intruder.”

The officer also said if not for him, his men could have shot Rosario.

Not content, he confiscated the reporter’s press card and mobile phone
then took him to the office of division spokesman Colonel Julieto
Ando, where he continued to lambaste Rosario.

Reports say while Ando has apologized for Bucu’s behavior over dxMS
6th ID commander General Raymundo Ferrer and Bucu have remained silent
on the matter.

The Cotabato City chapter of the NUJP has declared Bucu ‘persona non
grata’ and demanded his personal apology. Its members have also agreed
to boycott coverage of the division until Ferrer is replaced as
division commander.

The NUJP national office is demanding that the AFP impose strong
sanctions against Bucu for ‘his clear assault on press freedom,” as it
noted this is not the first time the colonel has targeted journalists.

Two years ago, at a gathering of reporters at the headquarters of the Army’s 602nd
Brigade in Carmen, North Cotabato, Bucu branded NUJP Kidapawan
chapter president Malu Cadelina Manar, program director of Catholic
station dxND in North Cotabato, a “member” of the New People’s Army.

IFJ-NUJP Media Safety Office

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