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Military increases visibility in Davao Or. to prevent shooting incidents

MATI CITY, Davao Oriental -- The military has increased its visibility in the communities in this east coast province of the Davao Region to prevent the occurrence of shooting incidents that already claimed the lives of several people, including media practitioners.

Col. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers will support all efforts of the police to keep communities safe and maintain sustainable peace.

He issued the statement after several members of the local media expressed fear for their lives following the killing of Nestor Libaton, a radio announcer of Catholic-run DXHM in Mati City, last week.

“We are here, together with the police, not only to maintain peace and security in the province, but also to share with you the precautionary measures that you can use for your own safety and security,” Guerrero said.

Meanwhile, members of the local media here urged authorities to give them training to protect themselves from experiencing the fate of Libaton.

Fr. Roland Sayman, a member of the local clergy and a media practitioner, conveyed his desire to undergo training on self-defense to protect him from any assault.

He deplored the killing of Libaton, whom colleagues described as a mild-mannered broadcaster who never discussed hard-hitting issues on air.

“We are hopeful that threats on our fellow journalists will be handled knowing that our law enforcers are with us. May the justice of our fallen brothers be attained soon,” Sayman said.

Sr. Supt. Perpetou Macion, director of the Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office, said the local police is establishing the identity of the two perpetrators whose respective composite facial profiles were described by witnesses.

He said several angles are being pursued in the killing of Libaton.

Macion said police are also looking for possible clues in the personal life of the victim that might have led to his murder.

He also urged other media practitioners with death threats to coordinate with authorities. 



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