MAGANES: Life after my ‘foiled assassination’
That faithful day of November 8 when my life was almost taken by the minions of the devil has not after all changed my faith in God as well as my trust to some friends in the media. After the incident when I suffered from gunshot wound, thank God it was not serious, I kept on asking why me? Why do I have to be singled out among all the media practitioners in Pangasinan to be silenced for life?
Why me when there are media men who are more notorious than me- those who are paid just to cover up real issues obtaining in the province? They are the ones who refrain from talking about graft and corruption done by scrupulous politicians because they are blinded not by loyalty but by money. Or maybe, they are doing it because they fear for their lives. And who wouldn’t be especially when you are in a media industry in Pangasinan where media practitioners are divided because of politics. Deep inside them, I know that there’s a tug of war between supporting the good and evil politicians. But me, I decided to support the good ones.
Life has never been the same again. I learned to keep more of my faith to my God and put more trust to people who have shown love to me during my hour of darkness- my family, “real friends” who sympathized no end and some politicians who extended their comforting words to me. Yes, I learned to discern people who are genuine and fake in dealing with me particularly media colleagues whom I considered friends, but in the end proved they were not.
Where were they when I needed their comforting words or at least issued condemnation on the said incident? Why are they still silent up to this time? I don’t have to name names here. They know who they are and I hope their consciences are clear. What will be their feelings if one day they too will experience the incident that I experienced?
Where are those media men who are fond of posting to their social media accounts ” STOP KILLING JOURNALISTS!” and JUSTICE NOW, END IMPUNITY! referring to the media men who were killed in Ampatuan, Maguindanao? What if the culprits succeeded in claiming my life, will there still be media practitioners in Pangasinan who will go the streets denouncing my death? Maybe, they will just feast on what the placard said ” WAG AKUNG TULARAN, DRUG POSHER (sic) AKO”. Oh, the pseudo-pretenders for truth. Hey! I just leave those things to my God who has shown His unending compassion to me.
Life has to move on. The incident made me stronger. Although I fear for my life, I became braver and more courageous in bringing out the truth for the sake of the Pangasinenses. Like a wounded soldier, the fight for truth must prevail and go on particularly now that I know that the best people are at my back. I have to go on and expose more of the doings of the shenanigans in our rotten society, whatever cost it may take in the future. This is my answer to those who have been asking me if I am not afraid of what happened to me. God shielded me from those deadly gunshots and I know He will always protect me from harm -now and in the future.
The investigation of the case is now progressing. I have yet to pinpoint the gunman as his face had registered vividly to my mind when he shot me. There are now leads and links on who the perpetrators are. I know that impunity will not prevail on my case. Justice will be served to those who made the grandiose design to silence me.
I thank the Villasis PNP Station headed by OIC-Chief of Police Norman T. Florentino who unceasingly keeps his eye about the incident. I put my trust to the whole police force regarding the investigation and in getting more information that will lead to the identification of the “motorcycle riding in tandem”. But then, I have the dilemma. Pinpointing the culprits will not be the end because the brains behind the assassination attempt to my life have to be brought also before the bar of justice.There identifications are already obvious based on evidence from the leads and links. I hope justice will always prevail.
Through this column, I would like to thank the following media friends who showed their moral support to me during those times of distress: Yolanda Sotelo of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Eva Visperas of Philippine Star, Susan Yadao of DWIZ- News Radio, Ike Palinar of Aksyon Radio, Macky Delgado of DWPR Radyo Asenso, Rhee Fer. Hortaleza of Aksyon Radio, Nora Dominguez of Net 25, Framy dela Cruz of Bombo Radyo Dagupan City, Gabby Yana of Philippine News, the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP)-Pangasinan Chapter headed by Noel Sibayan of Love Radio and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Pangasinan Office headed by Venus Hortaleza-Sarmiento.
I also extend my gratitude to Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So, former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco, Villasis Mayor Nonato S. Abrenica, former Villasis Mayor Libradita Go-Abrenica, 5th District Board Member Chinky Perez-Tababa, Abono Partylist Leny Flores and Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) for their unending support- financial and otherwise.
Thank you also to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco of Presidential Task Force on Media Security, PNP Regional Director Gregorio Pimentel, Pangasinan PNP Provincial Director Ronald Oliver Lee and other officers of Philippine National Police from the Regional and Provincial Offices for their immediate action in providing security assistance to me.
To all those who wrote good words about me, which were posted in my Facebook account, thank you very much. Your inspiring and endearing words keep me going.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at email@example.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Listen to my radio program “VIRGIL MAGANES SA DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso, 1296 KHZ AM Band at 8:00-9:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays.)
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