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Reviewing the video footage that she took while talking to a Magdalo soldier on the balcony in the Manila Peninsula during the siege, Probe producer Zanneth Tafalla froze for a few seconds and gasped. She called her colleagues to look at the tape.
On the television screen, the soldier—who was wearing the red and white armband that was the symbol of the Magdalo group—was calmly telling Tafalla, “Umiwas na kayo (Save yourselves).” Until the producer reviewed the tape, she did not notice that a red dot from the gunsight of a sniper stationed somewhere was being aimed between the eyes of the soldier who was asking her to leave.
If the sniper had pulled the trigger, Tafalla knew that she would never get over the horror of seeing a man killed right in front of her.
Tafalla and about a hundred members of media were inside the Manila Peninsula when former Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV, now an elected senator, and Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim led a few dozen soldiers in calling for the withdrawal of public support from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Many other journalists covered from outside the hotel.
“It seemed like a regular coverage… until the intermittent gunshots (were fired) and the tear gas (was lobbed). You didn’t fear for your life when you were holding your camera. But there was tension all throughout,” said Hera Sanchez, senior producer-reporter of Probe.
Sanchez was stationed at the hallway of the second floor where Trillanes, Lim, and their supporters were holed up in a room monitoring the situation.Read more here.