Radio reporter complains of threat from tourist cop
A veteran radio reporter has complained about a tourist police who allegedly threatened him during a 20-minute confrontation in Lapu-Lapu City last Sept. 2.
Norman Mendoza of DySS Super Radyo (RGMA) said SPO2 Esnang Sarapuddin hinted at killing him during a demolition under the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge.
Mendoza said he went to the place to cover the demolition when Sarapuddin told him “Wala lagi ko ninyo gipalabay sa Jolo? (Why didn’t you request for my transfer to Jolo?),” alluding to the bunch of policemen from Cebu who were recently relieved from their posts and sent to Jolo.
The reporter told the policeman to relax since he’s been monitored by Jonjie Gonzales, the chief of staff of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino.
Mendoza said Sarapuddin then accused him of taking videos which the reporter denied.
He said he was just composing a breaking news about the demolition but the policeman thought he was taking videos of him.
“I didn’t take videos of him. But even if I did, what’s wrong with it? Why was he afraid? Did he commit something wrong?,” Mendoza said.
Sarapuddin, he said, went after him, prompting other policemen in the area to restrain the tourist police.
Mendoza, a journalist for 18 years, said he dared Sarapuddin to file a case against him if the policeman thought his rights were violated.
Sarapuddinallegedly answered back saying “Ang Muslim dili na mofile og kaso. Modiretso ra. (Muslims don’t file any case. They just do it directly).”
Mendoza believed Sarapuddin’s remark meant that the latter will have him killed.
Sarapuddin later told him “If dautan pa ko nga Muslim, gipapatay na tika. (If I am a bad Muslim, I already asked someone to kill you.”
The confrontation ended when another policeman pulled Sarapuddin away from Mendoza, who reported the incident to Police Station 3 in Lapu-Lapu City.
The journalist said he was concerned about his safety after two unidentified men went to their residence in Mandaue City yesterday and asked his wife about where he was.
“Syempre, nahulga ko basin iyang tinud-on ang iyang gihulga nako (Of course, I was threatened. Who knows he will make good of his threats),” he said.
Mendoza, also a scribe of Cebu Daily News, said he also relayed the incident to Senior Supt. Rommel Cabagnot, director of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, who immediately asked Sarapuddin to explain to the chief of the Tourist Police.
It was not the first time Sarapuddin and Mendoza met.
Last May 2016, the two had a confrontation when Mendoza found out that Sarapuddin didn’t put in prison a Briton who was arrested for hitting a Singaporean national.
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