Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Paraplegic radio man sues olongapo city vice mayor

By Allan Macatuno -- Inquirer

OLONGAPO CITY—A local radio broadcaster filed harassment charges against Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino after the official allegedly threatened him inside his station’s booth.

Nelson Marmeto, 40, announcer of radio station dwGO, said Paulino barged into the radio booth and threatened to hurt him while he was doing his program on Sept. 22.

Marmeto, a paraplegic, has been criticizing Paulino in his program for fabricating issues against Mayor James Gordon Jr.

The row between Marmeto and Paulino worsened after the broadcaster accused the vice mayor of preventing him from entering the city council’s session hall recently.

Paulino said the attack prompted him to go the radio station and ask Marmeto to give him the chance to air his side on the issue.

In his affidavit submitted to the prosecutor’s office here, Marmeto quoted Paulino as telling him: “Alam mo, sa oras na ito ay gusto na kitang suntukin. Namumuro ka na sa akin (You know, I feel like punching you at this moment. You will have it coming).”

Marmeto, who said he was surprised at Paulino’s presence in his booth, refused to give in to the vice mayor’s request. Marmeto instead announced in his program that he would allow Paulino to talk some other time.

He said Paulino had not been invited to his program and could not be accommodated for an interview.

“I have so much job announcements to read and we cannot suddenly allow the vice mayor to talk on air,” Marmeto said in his program. “No one can threaten or frighten me.”

Paulino said he welcomed the case but denied Marmeto’s allegations.

“I went to the radio station to give my side of the story but I think it was misinterpreted,” Paulino said. “I even carried him to his wheelchair.”

Paulino also dismissed the allegation that he had prevented Marmeto from entering the council’s session hall.

“I was, in fact, the one who asked one of my personnel to let him (Marmeto) in. I have nothing personal against him,” he said.

He said the harassment case filed against him was politically motivated and was part of a “demolition job.”

“I have never been engaged in any conflict with members of the media. I just wanted the truth to come out now because this issue has gone out of proportion,” Paulino said.


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