Governor interferes with the media’s election coverage


Release: Philippines


May 2013


The elected Governor

of North Cotabato, Emmylou Mendoza confronted Malu Manar, journalist for dxND, Sun

Star Davao and, on May 21 over a May 18 article she wrote about

allegations of electoral fraud in the province.


Malu Manar said

Governor Mendoza entered the station where she was working and confronted her over

the news report which described the allegations made by former governor Pinol’s

who had filed a petition to exclude two towns from the canvassing of votes due

to ‘improbable’ numbers. 


In an email to the

National Union of Journalists, Manar said that "She (Mendoza) was

disappointed by the story and threatened to deal with it." Caught by surprise,

Manar felt unable to defend her position.


On May 22, Mendoza then

sent letters to news outfits that published Manar's report and to NUJP, demanding

that they take "appropriate action" against the journalist for, among

other reasons, failing to get her side on Pinol's accusation of election



Manar, who also

chairs the NUJP-Kidapawan Chapter, expressed her disappointment, saying:

"I am not her worker. I do not work for her. I am a



to an article published on May 26 in Sun Star "Mendoza was never quoted in

the story except when she denied Piñol's allegations, saying she won 'fair and

square,' which is a harmless attribution and does not do her any damage."


The actions of the Governor are completely unacceptable and a direct attempt to

stifle freedom of information. The IFJ urges

all Government officials in the Philippines to refrain from intimidation and

interference in the media’s ability to independently report. The press play an

important role in ensuring the public’s right to information.


For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000

journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

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