MANILA (20-Feb-12) – The members of media who were prevented by militiamen from leaving a mining area in Sitio Balabag, Brgy. Depore, Bayog town, Zamboanga del Sur left the area at around 4pm and are now en route to Pagadian City.
Jong Cadion, one of the journalists, said they were on their way home after covering the demolition of houses in Barangay Dipure, Zamboanga del Sur which is inside a mining area said to be operated by a foreign mining firm when militiamen intercepted them.
Cadion said the personnel from a Special Cafgu Active Auxilliary (SCAA) unit were all without their nameplates and refused to identify which unit they were from. The militiamen also did not reveal the name of their superiors, Cadion said.
Cadion earlier said the SCAA personnel had blocked the road leading to Balabag and even destroyed portions of the road using a backhoe.
Cadion identified the journalists and media workers with him as Tony Bayamban, BizNews publisher; Judiz Cogo, BizNews; Efren Superal (also of dxKP) Vira Angeli Modestom Gretchin Mondoy and Emayflor Intig, Frontline Mindanao Balita; Lito Pedrano, dxWO; and Jojo Besandre, dxKV.