JANUARY 11, 2005
Posted: January 27, 2005



A group of armed men torched an ABS-CBN News van in central Manila at around 4:30 a.m. Between five and eight masked gunmen forced members of the eight-person news crew to lie on the ground while they set the van on fire with a Molotov cocktail. No one was injured.

A group identifying itself as “K” claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail. According to local news reports, “K” accused ABS-CBN of biased coverage of the presidential campaign of Fernando Poe Jr. and blamed the news network for his defeat in the May 2004 election. Poe, who lost by a narrow margin to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, died in December 2004 of a stroke.

A spokesperson for the National Coordinating Council of Volunteers for Fernando Poe Jr. condemned the attack, and accused political rivals of framing Poe supporters. Police were investigating.

ABS-CBN News has come under attack before. In May 2001, a mob of protesters torched two news vans over alleged bias in the coverage of deposed president Joseph Estrada.