Photo shows the bullet hole on the window of the recording room of Bombo Radyo General Santos City. The radio station was strafed by gunmen riding a red pickup truck Wednesday evening. (Photo from Bombo Radyo Gensan Facebook Page)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Officials of a radio station here believe that the motive behind the strafing of their station might be due to their relentless and hard-hitting commentary against investment scams proliferating in the city and in the island of Mindanao.

Jonathan Macailing, station manager of dxES-Bombo Radyo, said they have been receiving threats daily through their cellphone hotline numbers because of their daily commentaries against investment scams, specifically against Kapa Community Ministry International, Inc. (Kapa).

A still undetermined number of suspects aboard a red pickup truck passed by the station at about 8:30 p.m. and fired around eight to 10 times as the vehicle slowed down in front of their compound, according to the station’s security guards and personnel who witnessed the strafing.

The witnesses said the vehicle was as an “old-model pickup.” It sped off toward the city proper after the incident.
One of the bullets hit the radio station’s main glass door and the glass window of its recording room. Anchor Luna Bernard Bacalanmo was on air at the time for the “Zone Libre” program.

At least six spent bullets were recovered inside the station’s compound.

Capt. Brent Ian Salazar, acting Station 6 police chief, said the slugs looked like they were fired from .45-caliber and 9mm handguns, but further ballistic examinations were needed.

“Our investigators are currently reviewing the CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras of the radio station, nearby checkpoints and establishments to establish the route of the suspects and their identities,” he said.

The radio station continued with its normal operations after the attack.

Macailing said in his radio program the following morning that “it was clearly a planned attack and meant to harass our personnel, and stop the station from tackling various critical issues.”

In September last year, Macailing and the station’s news director, Salvador Galano, were arrested in a supposed entrapment for allegedly trying to extort PHP5 million from the Kapa founder, Pastor Joel Apolinario. Both Macailing and Galano deny the accusations, calling it a form of retaliation for their commentaries against Kapa and Apolinario.

Kapa was ordered closed and its officers arrested after President Rodrigo Duterte called it a “continuing crime” and after the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a cease-and-desist order against the religious group for soliciting investments from the public in the guise of donations. They promised a monthly return of 30 percent through a “Ponzi-like” scheme. (Rommel F. Lopez)