ABS-CBN news team cheats death in Marawi City ambush

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 26 Dec) – The ABS-CBN news team from Iligan City was ambushed by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Marawi City shortly past noon Saturday. No one was hurt but its crew cab sustained damage after it was fired upon, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

The team was led by Ronnie Enderes, outgoing chair of the local NUJP chapter.

In a telephone interview, Enderes told MindaNews that they were in Marawi to follow up a story on the bombing of transmission towers Friday evening. He was with cameraman Emilito Balansag and driver Garry Montecillo.

Enderes said that on the way back to Iligan, they noticed two motorcycles following them, with two men on each. The driver sped up but the motorcycles kept chasing them. Upon reaching Banggolo, the central part of the city, they were fired upon twice.

“None of us were hurt but we could not describe our trauma after the incident,” he said.

Caliber .45 pistols were reportedly used by the attackers.

Enderes said he is thankful of the safety training conducted by the NUJP as it helped them survive hostile situations.

“The NUJP reminds the Aquino Administration that incidents like this are a shameful reminder of the culture of impunity that has become the norm rather than an aberration in a democracy such as ours,” the NUJP said in a statement. “The NUJP calls on authorities to quickly investigate the incident and arrest the perpetrators so they may be brought to justice,” it added. (With reports from Richel Umel / MindaNews)