Blast rocks Maramag radio station, student hurt

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 June)- An explosion rocked radio station DxGT Radyo Abante in Maramag, Bukidnon shortly past 8 a.m. Wednesday, wounding a 21-year old working student.

Bukidnon board member Gordon Torres, the station manager, identified the victim as Celso Cañamo, a student of the Philippine Computer College who is working as part-time janitor of the station.

Cañamo, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology student, suffered wounds in the legs.

DxGT reporter Mars Downy Ben Medina said the victim is now in safe condition.

A replay of a recorded program of “Bombardeyo,” anchored by “hard-hitting” broadcaster Joash Dignos, was playing when station workers heard the explosion in the announcer’s booth.

Torres said that “Bombardeyo” is a block-time program that airs every 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday.

Aside from two air-conditioning units, Torres said no radio equipment was damaged.

He believed that someone hit by their programs on good governance could be behind the attack.

Torres said that both Dignos and Medina had been earlier threatened.

In a statement, the Bukidnon chapter of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said that two unidentified men riding on a motorcycle reportedly threw a hand grenade at the radio station.

Medina said the grenade landed on the balcony of the radio station, located at the second floor of a building near a bus terminal in Maramag town, according to the NUJP statement.

Medina said Dignos has been receiving threats on his cell phone prior to the said attack, it added.

“But I can not also discount that the target may have been me,” Medina was quoted as saying in the statement.

Medina explained that he had also been discussing some controversial issues in his own radio program, which runs from 5 a.m. till 7 a.m. Mondays to Fridays.

Medina said he has been commenting against video karera, a form of illegal gambling, and the sale of pilfered diesel fuel in Quezon town, among others.

But Medina said he has not been getting threats lately, unlike Dignos who has resorted to taping some of his radio programs to avoid having to go to the station regularly, the NUJP statement said.

DxGT Radyo Abante is an affiliate of the Iddes Broadcast Group, Inc..

Torres said they will discuss the security in the station and of their workers and their next steps.

But he said they have already resumed regular programming, which was disrupted by the explosion.

Reporters who listened to the recorded program said a mayor-elect from a nearby local government unit was the subject of the discussion.

Suddenly, they said, the recording stopped and they heard sounds that appear to be a commotion. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)