Arsonists attack Abante plant

The suspects tried to set fire on the newspaper's printing plant.

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) denounced what it called a vicious attack to the office of a national daily early Monday morning.

Four still unidentified men reportedly forcibly entered the Abante News Group offices in Paranaque City at around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., doused gasolines on printing machines and set it on fire. The arsonists then fled on motorcycles.

The suspects overpowered the security guard who suffered minor injuries.

“(Abante’s) Rey Marfil called me and he was very concerned with what happened,” said PTFoMS executive director and Undersecretary Joel Egco in a statement.

“He told me that they are not critical of the present administration and does not know any individual or group that may carry out such a dastardly act against the publication. As usual, I will assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in pursuing this case and we will get to the bottom of this,” Egco said.

Incidentally, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar is a columnist of the said tabloid and also serves as co-chairman of the PTFoMS along with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Andanar, who tagged the setting of Abante’s offices into flames a “cowardly act,” maintained that “there is no room for media violence” under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A team of PTFoMS investigators are now looking into incident.

Egco has also reached out to the the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to help with the probe.

The Task Force is monitoring the situation and will release more details in the coming days, according to Egco.