Bomb explodes at radio station in Mindanao

New York, May 23, 2002—A homemade bomb exploded yesterday morning at the entrance of Bombo Radyo station in Cagayan de Oro City, on the southern island of Mindanao, in the Philippines. According to local news reports, no one was injured in the attack.

The bomb detonated at about 1:00 a.m. on May 22, causing superficial damage to the exterior of the building. The blast did not affect Bombo Radyo’s ability to broadcast.

“We call on Philippine authorities to investigate this disturbing incident and take steps to ensure the safety of the country’s journalists,” said Ann Cooper, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Bombo Radyo is known for its coverage of local crime and official corruption. Station manager Jun Albino told Agence France-Presse that the attack came either in retaliation for his station’s reporting or was the result of a rivalry with another radio station.

No group claimed responsibility for the bombing, and police have not named any suspects.

In recent months, several bomb explosions have struck the island of Mindanao, where separatist Muslim guerrilla groups are battling the Philippine army. Journalists in the region are frequently targets of violent attacks. On May 13, Edgar Damalerio, managing editor of the weekly newspaper Zamboanga Scribe and a commentator on DXKP radio station in Pagadian City, Mindanao, was shot dead while driving home from work.