Monday, March 9, 2009

Business rivalry eyed in Labares ambush


Cagayan de Oro vice mayor Vicente Emano is flanked by media during his visit at the hospital where the RMN-dxCC broadcaster is treated right after he was shoot last week while on his way home after a radio program.

BY JOEL ESCOL
The shooting incident over the weekend involving a radio commentator and broadcaster is now having a new twist of event as some quarter claims the shooting is caused by business rivalry of alleged illegal video slot machine operators in the city.

Over a local radio station here, Cagayan de Oro police chief PSSupt. Noel Armilla said he is looking into another angle his investigators gathered during the course of investigation that the radio broadcaster, Nilo Labares, is allegedly supporting another slot machine operator. Labares could not be interviewed at press time to air his side on the allegation as he is still recuperating at the hospital.

The focus, however, of the investigation is centered on Labares constant attacks during his radio program as the main reason why he was shot by still unknown suspects, reportedly masterminded by a well-known operator they only identify in the radio as a certain “madam.” The police could not still confirm the motive of shooting while investigation is going on but hinted illegal gambling as the main point.

A police officer close to Labares told a local radio that his friend has long been receiving death threats.
“Tan aw nako dugay na si Nilo (Labares) nga dunay death threats kay niadtong pang sunog sa Ororama nga nagkita mi mihangyo siya nga pwede ba makahulam sa akong pistol kay naa siyay threats,” the police officer said.
He said Labares is a long time friend but he denied his request because his pistol is in the farm. “Ako siyang gibalibaran kay tua man sa farm ang akong pistola. Matod ni Nilo iyang na-notice nga adunay mga tawo nga kanunay nagasunod-sunod niya nga daw adunay armas sa ilang hawak.”

He also revealed over a local radio that his house tenant who is a trusted employee of a certain video karera operator has long been negotiating Labares to stop his radio attacks because it is affecting their business.

“Pero wala sila magkasinabot kay morag gibalibaran ni Nilo ang hangyo ni Madam nga iyang gitugon sa iyang sinaligan,” the police officer narrated.
Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro Press Club president Vincent Jaudian has already created a committee to help investigate and brought to justice the broadcaster Nilo Labares to justice.

Jaudian said the COPC is now planning to hold another indignation rally at the city’s Divisoria to condemn anew the unstoppable media killings in the country. As of this writing, there were already five mediamen in Mindanao who were shot since January this year, three of whom died and two other survived the ambush. Those who were killed in the ambush were identified as Arecio Padrigao of Gingoog City, Ernesto Rollin of Oroquieta City and the other from Cotabato City, while those who survived include dxCC’s Nilo Labares and Joe Pantoja.

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