Police officers inspect a printing press damaged in an attack on Prage Management Services’ facilities in Vitalez Compound, Parañaque City before dawn yesterday. Image taken from a Facebook post by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.
Tabloid’s printing press torched
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The printing press of a tabloid newspaper in Parañaque City was damaged by fire after an alleged attack on the building early yesterday.

The fire affected the production area of Prage Management Services, which houses the printing press of tabloid newspapers Abante and Abante Tonite, according to a report from city fire marshal Supt. Robert Pacis.

The incident was reported to the city fire station at around 1:57 a.m., and fire trucks arrived about six minutes later.

Firefighters put out the fire at around 2:10 a.m.

No one was hurt in the blaze, but it caused damage worth P50,000, Pacis said.

In a report from the Southern Police District, a female security guard told police that a group of armed men, wearing helmets and face masks, pointed their guns at her as she and other staff were receiving a delivery of printing materials.

The suspects later poured what was believed to be gasoline onto piles of newspapers and set them on fire with a lighter.

Probers found two gallons containing alleged fuel, two tin cans and the lighter.

Abante managing editor Fernando Jadulco claimed two of the newspaper’s employees were hurt during the attack, which he said was “the first violent act against our group and its facilities since 1987.”

The newspaper would “continue to publish,” he said, adding that they “will not be cowed by this attempt to strike fear into our reporters, editors and staff.”

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security strongly denounced the attack. PTFoMS executive director Joel Sy Egco said Abante president Rey Marfil called him and said they are “very concerned with what happened.”

“He told me they are not critical of the present administration and does not know any individual or group that may carry out such a dastardly act against the publication,” Egco said.

He ordered the task force’s investigation chief, Lt. Col. Eder Collantes, to form a team to look into the attack.

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