“The President will certainly be directing a thorough investigation of this case and we will prosecute those behind this dastardly act. We’ll be issue an expanded statement shortly,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
File
Palace sets probe of attack on tabloid
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte will order a thorough investigation of the arson attack on the publishing plant of tabloid newspaper Abante last Monday, a Palace official said yesterday.

“The President will certainly be directing a thorough investigation of this case and we will prosecute those behind this dastardly act. We’ll be issue an expanded statement shortly,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

He also assured the public that the Duterte administration will not tolerate any assault on members of media.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, a columnist of Abante, said “there is no room for media violence in this administration.”

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde urged media outfits to report threats they have been receiving so the PNP can act on them immediately.

He said probers are still looking for leads on the suspects’ identity and possible motive for the attack.

“They have no suspects yet and no leads on whether it is an inside job,” Albayalde said in Filipino.

The Office of the Vice President also condemned the attack. Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said in a statement that “this attempt to intimidate and silence Abante… must be resisted by all freedom-loving Filipinos.”

ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran appealed to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security and the police to leave no stone unturned in their investigation.

House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate called on Abante and other media outfits to “band together and advance the right of our people for transparency and accountability.”

Police said a group of armed men, wearing helmets and face masks, stormed the production area of Prage Management Services, which houses the printing press of tabloid newspapers Abante and Abante Tonite, at past midnight on Monday and set fire to the printing equipment and piles of newspapers. – With Emmanuel Tupas, Helen Flores, Edu Punay

ABANTE ARSON
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