JOECEL Huesca (left), reporter for Ratsada of GMA 7 Iloilo, tells Felipe Celino of Panay News about how election supporters mobbed him and his cameraman Philip John Torino while covering the special polls in Sapian, Capiz yesterday.

Poll supporters mob mediamen


ROXAS City – A reporter and a cameraman of the GMA 7 Iloilo were mobbed by election candidate supporters while covering the special barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls in Brgy. Poblacion, Sapian town yesterday.

Joecel Huesca, reporter for Ratsada, said about 10 unidentified men mobbed him and his cameraman Philip John Torino while they were at the Sapian Central School.

Huesca told Panay News that a man punched Torino on the head while the latter was taking footages.

The same man snatched the video camera from Torino, he said. The man returned the camera 20 minutes later.

Huesca and Torino went to the police station, about 200 meters from the polling center, to report the incident. Their camera’s viewfinder was destroyed.

The mediamen, who came from Jamindan, earlier asked Mazel Acevedo, board of election inspector member, if they could get footages of the ongoing election.

Several supporters wearing red and green shirts, Huesca said, inquired on who paid them to have the coverage.

Huesca told them that they were covering the special elections held after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) postponed the polls on Monday, and that no one paid them.

Comelec held the election yesterday in two barangays in Sapian, five in Jamindan, and 13 in Tapaz.

Acevedo said the mediamen earlier asked to conduct an interview, but she refused for they might disturb the voters.

She said she was surprised when the commotion later occurred.

PO3 Allan Occeño, Sapian police investigator, said three of those who “attacked” the mediamen were Mario Baldisimo, a tricycle driver from Brgy. Poblacion; Elsor Oducado, a son of a prominent lawyer; and a certain Pinoy Villanueva.

He identified the individuals from the video shot by Torino.

Insp. Rowell Bucat, Sapian police chief, vowed to investigate the incident, saying he will file charges against those who mobbed the mediamen./PN