Porac Vice Mayor threatens Pampanga media

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PAMPANGA, PHILIPPINES – Vice Mayor Dexter David of Porac town in Pampanga has threatened to shoot DWgv-am broadcasters Arnel Panganiban and Gary Bernanrdo during a chance meeting in Subic on October 1. Pampanga is a province approximately 56 kilometers north of Manila.

David was upset on what he asserts as Panganiban and Bernardo’s and the local media’s “unfair” treatment on the municipal council’s lack of action to resolve the over 20 year problem of the said town’s pestering issue on stench and flies caused by hog and poultry farms in their area.

Earlier, Bernardo was able to secure a document from the Security Exchange Commission showing that David is a Director of the Porac Swine Breeders Inc.

Another municipal Councilor, Ludovico Muli who chairs the Committee on Environment, is a major stockholder of the FeedWorld Inc. with a 16 percent share worth P5 million; and a Director and former Chief Executive Officer of Porac Poultry and Livestock and Raisers Cooperative. FeedWorld is said to be the major supplier of livestock feeds in the municipality.

Panganiban said he and Bernardo were attending the grand opening of a 7-11 store in Subic, Zambales when David who was also invited arrived between 1-1:30 PM. He said upon seeing him, David barked:

“Pamarilan da kayu! Eku bibiru (I’m going to shoot you! I’m not kidding)!”

Panganiban said he decided to leave the event after David’s remarks and drive back to Pampanga with Benardo.

In a separate incident, David apparently displeased with the news article which appeared in Sun Star Pampanga (SSP) written by reporter Charlene Cayabyab on the Sept. 24 rally against hog and poultry farms in Porac phoned its editor Jovie De Leon and told him two strongly worded statements to wit:

“Pota enaku kakilala Charlene, Laus ya ing asawa ku. Sabyan mu kaya emagkamali pupunta Porac pota atin malyaring matsura kaya! (Maybe Charlene does not know me, my wife is a Laus. Tell her not to make a mistake in going to Porac or something bad might happen to her). ”

Prominent businessman Levy P. Laus is a part owner of SunStar pampanga and is an uncle of David’s wife. Laus is also the owner of both the Central Luzon Television Channel 36 and the DWrw-FM.

The threat on Cayabyab is a direct affront to her security as well as her employment with SSP.

On October 8, the local media were barred from covering a public hearing being conducted by the Porac municipal council at the municipal hall between the piggery and poultry owners, the Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) which is spearheading the protest against stench and flies caused by the livestock farms and some members of the public prompting the NUJP Pampanga Chapter to pass a resolution against the media suppression.

NUJP-Pampanga passed a resolution condemning the action of David and the indifference of Mayor Condralito Dela Cruz where media men were prevented from covering a public hearing on the pestering issue of stench and flies caused by Porac hog and poultry farms which constitute a suppression of the freedom of the press and the right of the people to information.

Copies of the NUJP-Pampanga resolution were given to Gov. Lilia Pineda, Rep. Gloria Arroyo (2nd district, Pampanga), Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and the municipality of Porac. (ASHLEY JAY MANABAT/WILFREDO A. VILLAREAL)

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