Gunmen fire at coffee shop owned by Filipino broadcaster

Gunmen fire at coffee shop owned by Filipino broadcaster
Broadcaster Anthony Taberna.
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

Two still unidentified gunmen fired at a coffee shop owned by broadcaster Anthony Taberna along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City early Friday.

In an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM, Taberna, who works for the TV/radio network ABS-CBN, said armed men peppered Ka Tunying's Cafe with bullets, causing the glass panel surrounding the establishment to crash. No one was hurt in the incident.

Based on the closed-circuit television footage that captured the incident, four men were seen outside the establishment, two of them armed while the others serving as lookouts. The attackers were reportedly riding motorcycles.

The strafing happened amid a power struggle between two factions within the influential Iglesia ni Cristo. Taberna, a hard-hitting commentator, is an INC follower and is a relative of expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr.

Samson filed serious illegal detention charges against eight ministers of the INC's Sanggunian in the Department of Justice for allegedly placing him and his family under house arrest in July.

Samson's allegations against the members of the religious sect drove thousands of INC members to hold a protest in front of the DOJ office in Manila on Thursday.

Taberna said motive behind the shooting has yet to be established. "I cannot speculate. Ang business motive, malabo kasi kakaumpisa pa lang nitong negosyo na 'to," he said.

Asked if the attack had anything to do with his relationship to Samson, he said he had no connection with Samson other than that they are related by blood.

Despite his usual hard-hitting commentaries on his radio and television programs, Taberna has also been questioned by fellow INC members for keeping silent at the height of the controversy.

Others have alleged that a gag order was imposed on him by INC leaders.

"Kung ang intensyon ay takutin o pigilan ako, nagkakamali sila. Ang prinsipyo napakasimple, do what is right at iwaksi ang mali (If their intention is to threaten or stop me, they are mistaken. My principle is simple-do what is right and avoid what is wrong)," Taberna said.

 

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