Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hard hitting radio anchor missing for 5 years to be remembered today

BALER, Aurora, March 3, 2011-The militant organization here from the Multi-Sectoral Action Group is set to remember in a simple ceremony the reportedly missing for five (5) years who was known as a hard hitting radio commentator airing on DZJO FM.

Mr. Joey Estriber, 37 years old, host of the radio program Pag-usapan Natin (Let’s Talk About It) was abducted at around 6:20 p.m. March 3, 2006 by unidentified men near an internet café here. Witnesses said that they saw  Estriber resisted his abductors, shouting as he was being dragged to a maroon Besta van with tinted windows and no plate number. The Witnesses saw four men surrounded Estriber and threw him into the van face down, after which the van moved south toward the central school, saying that the same van had been parked in the area hours before the abduction.

Estriber left behind a pair of slippers. Two text messages sent through his cellphone were received half an hour later, saying "Huwag kayong mag-alala, ok lang ako," (Don't worry, I'm all right.) and "Nagtatago ako." (I am hiding.) However, those who received the two text messages from Estriber’s cellphone doubted if he was the one who sent the messages.

Estriber, was an active Bataris member, a church-based non-government organization here who was tagged by the soldiers as supporter of rebels in the province and said that this was the reason for his abduction. In mid-February, the Philippine Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion raided the Bataris office. At about the same time, a military officer claimed on radio that members of non-government organizations like Bataris are in the military's "order of battle."

Estriber was speaker at a forum where four soldiers reportedly tried to force their way in. Family members have made the rounds of radio and police stations but they were unable to gather information about Estriber’s abduction. 

Militant groups are seeking justice for the victim through candle lighting vigil.  (Arnel Turzar, DZJO FM, CMN-Baler, Aurora)

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