Solon warns attack on radioman might have ‘chilling’ effect on media in Aurora

By Jason de Asis


BALER, Aurora, November 25, 2010–The bomb attack on the house of a radio broadcaster perceived to be supportive of the Aurora Special Economic Zone (Apeco) might have a chilling effect on the local media in the province and scare them from reporting on issues surrounding the controversial project.  


Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara of the lone district of Aurora said the bomb attack on Bernie Rada is apparently meant to intimidate media practitioners from reporting out the truth on the Apeco which has divided the people of the province.


“It (attack) might have a chilling effect. Any form of violence against mediamen might have that kind of effect. I just hope the media of Aurora will not be cowed and remain vigilant in reporting out both sides about the Apeco,” he said.  


Angara was referring to a recent incident when a man tossed an explosive device at the house of Rada in Barangay Buhangin, causing an explosion that punctured the front door of his house.


Rada, 39, was in Manila at the time of the attack. His wife and three children were unhurt. Rada, a former president of the Aurora Press Club, is the Aurora correspondent of CLTV 36 and is a commentator of local radio station “Radyo Natin”.


Rada expressed suspicions the attack was a retalliation for the Tuesday episode of his show “Morning Pasada” on Radyo Natin wherein he read comments about the Apeco.


The ecozone, which was created by a law initiated by Angara and his father, Sen. Edgardo Angara, is being opposed by the Church and non government groups.


Angara said he is not accusing anyone of being behind the attack on Rada, saying he is leaving it to the Philippine National Police to pinpoint the culprit. 


“We should not point fingers on anybody,” he said, adding that he believes that all sides involved in Apeco have the interests of Aurora in mind but only differ in their ideologies and desired outcomes. (Jason de Asis)