Friday, September 22, 2006

Attack against Baguio journalist

From the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines comes this alert:

freelance journalist survives attack

A woman journalist was attacked by a knife-wielding man while walking home at around 7:25 p.m. Sept. 19, along Barangay (village) Betag, La Trinidad town, Benguet (a province in northern Philippines).

According to a report submitted by the Baguio-Benguet chaper of the NUJP, the male attacker held the knife against the neck of Abigail Bengwayan, 25, a regular contributor of the Baguio-based newsweekly Northern Dispatch and a staff member of the militant group Cordillera Peoples Allliance (CPA).

The attacker was reportedly startled when his victim began screaming. Bengwayan described him as male, wearing a cap and a handkerchief to cover his face. She said he locked her arms and held a knife to her neck. She also said there was another man whom she believed served as lookout for the assailant.

Bengwayan is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and daughter of Dr. Michael Bengwayan, a widely acclaimed and prominent professor, activist and journalist.

The attack was reported to the La Trinidad Police Office by the victim aided by her lawyer and officemates who promptly responded to the incident.

Bengwayan, also a regional council member of the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP) Baguioand Benguet chapter, said she did not notice anyone tailing her. "Petty crime or not, work-related or not, authorities must be on their toes in looking for the perpetrator," the NUJP-Baguio Benguet said in a statement. There must be an end to these senseless killings, it added.

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