CMFR/PHILIPPINES – Local police has formed a task force to look into the possible motives in the attempted murder of a “volunteer reporter” in Nabua, Camarines Sur last 9 July 2010.
The victim, Miguel “Mike” Belen, survived seven bullet wounds inflicted by unidentified men on his way home last 9 July 2010. According to radio reporter Cynthia del Valle, police said that Belen was taking a shortcut through San Jose village, Nabua when two men riding tandem on a motorcycle shot him.
DwEB station manager Richard Arnedo told CMFR last 13 July 2010 that Belen had come from the coverage of the last draw of the government’s Small Town Lottery (STL).
Del Valle of radio station Hot FM told the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility that one possible angle is that the attack may have something to do with Belen’s political affiliation. Belen supported the candidacy of Camarines Sur 5th District Representative Sal Fortuno. He was also a former village chieftain before he joined the media two months ago.
Belen was still in the hospital as of press time.
Belen has been with dwEB FM for two months. According to Arnedo, Belen was one of the station’s two field reporters for Iriga City and would be absorbed into the staff as a regular reporter. Belen has been reporting on the local elections and corruption.
Arnedo also said dwEB and some of its staff have also received threats in the past.