FOUR unidentified men set fire to the Abante News Group publishing building in Parañaque City after midnight on Monday.
Marivic Furaganan, a security guard of the building, said that a delivery of printing materials was expected at the Vitalez Compound, Barangay San Isidro, when a group of unidentified armed men wearing helmets and face masks pointed guns at them.
She said she saw the four suspects holding a gallon filled with gasoline and poured it onto a pile of newspapers inside the production area and lit it using a long lighter.
Senior Fire Officer 3 Gary Tabaniag said the fire was declared out at 2:10 a.m. and there were no reported casualties although the damage was estimated at P50,000.
Fire Officer 3 Gennie Huidem, upon inspection, found a plastic gallon, one four-liter gallon, two tin can ashes/ debris, and one long lighter.
The pieces of evidence were brought at the Arson Laboratory Service (ALS), Bureau of Fire Protections-National Headquarters (BFP-NHQ) for laboratory examination.
The Abante News Group, in a statement on Facebook, described the incident as a “dastardly attack” and was the “first violent act against our group and its facilities since 1987.”
Fernando Jadulco, Abante managing editor, said the publication would “not be cowed by this attempt to strike fear into our reporters, editors and staff. Our commitment to hard-hitting journalism remains unshaken.” JAN ARCILLA