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Radio Station Bombed

IFEX - News from the international freedom of expression community

ALERT - PHILIPPINES

13 December 2000

SOURCE: Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Quezon City

(CMFR/IFEX) - On Monday 11 December 2000, at 3:30 a.m. (local time), the transmitter site of a church-run radio station in Cotabato City, Mindanao, in Southern Philippines, was bombed, wounding one of the station's employees and damaging surrounding buildings and the station's broadcast van.

According to "Metro Manila" newspaper reports, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels allegedly bombed DXMS's transmitter site, located several kilometers away from the radio station. DXMS is run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), whose members, including the archbishop of Cotabato, have been asking for the resignation of President Joseph Estrada.

Shrapnel injured Eric Tanudtanud when the explosion penetrated the walls of the building where he was staying. Some reports say that Tanudtanud is a

radio technician while others say that he is the business manager. He was treated at the Cotabato Medical Center.

Police suspect that the bombing was meant to prevent the airing of Zamsamin Ampatuan's highly critical comments against the MILF on his programme, Radyo Kalimudan. According to a DXMS technician, a phone call was made to the station the day before, threatening to bomb it if it continued to air the programme. MILF members allegedly bombed DXMS earlier this year, an attack which injured several people and damaged the station's building, as well as the van owned by Ampatuan. Ampatuan was seriously injured in the attack but has since recovered.

MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu however denied any involvement with the bombing, suggesting instead that the military is attributing the series of bombings to the MILF to justify the declaration of a state of emergency in Mindanao in the wake of the impeachment trial of President Estrada.

Military personnel have been stationed at the radio station to avoid further attacks.

For further information, please contact Roselle Miranda, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Unit 2, #9 Twin Peaks Drive, Blue Ridge B, Quezon City, Philippines 1110, tel: +63 02 438 5728, fax: +63 02 647 0945, e-mail: cmfr@surfshop.net.ph, Internet: httpp://www.cmfr.com.ph

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of CMFR. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit CMFR.

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