A BULACAN-BASED mediaman has sought the protection of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Central Luzon after his property became a subject of "dubious raid."
Manila Standard reporter and Metro News publisher Orlan Mauricio on Thursday, September 24, 2020, personally appeared before the NBI to ask for assistance in the investigation of the raid implemented by Bulacan police, as well as protection of his family.
On Wednesday night, Mauricio's house and resort in Malolos City, Bulacan became the subject of two search warrants issued by Judge Nemesio Manlangit of a Municipal Trial Court in Malolos City.
During the implementation of the warrant, Mauricio said about 20 individuals who are in civilian clothes, all heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests and bandanas, forcibly entered his home without identifying themselves and their mission.
"More than two hours iyong ginawa nilang raid. During that time, incomunicado kami at nakakulong lang sa isang parte ng bahay at kinuha rin mga cellphone namin," the 61-year-old newsman recalled.
Mauricio also said the raiding team only presented the search warrants to them when barangay officials, who were alerted by their concerned neighbors, came to the property.
It was only then that they learned that the subject of the search warrant is three firearms supposedly owned by his son, Oliver Paul.
However, policemen did not find any firearms nor ammunition in Mauricio's property as confirmed in the inventory of seized evidence.
Lighters, scissors and aluminum foils, which the police claimed were used in taking illegal drugs, were found in Mauricio's printing press. No traces of illegal drugs were seen.
After the hours-long of searching, Mauricio said the policemen went out of the property without any explanation.
Mauricio said the raid, which he described as "Gestapo-like," is only aimed at harassing and intimidating him.
He suspected that a high-ranking provincial official is behind the move as his news and paper have been critical of the provincial government.
"This is a clear form of harassment aimed at intimidating and threatening me because of my exposes about the transactions of the provincial government," he said.
Mauricio also told his fellow journalists to be wary of their safety as media intimidation has been rampant under the current administration.
Mediamen have tried to get the side of Bulacan police but did not comment as of Friday afternoon.