Reporter banned from covering military operations in Basilan

The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in expressing concern after it was reported the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines prevented a reporter from covering a public interest news story.

According to the NUJP, Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Julie Alipala was banned from reporting on ongoing military operations in Basilan, and had previously received threats and abuse after exposing abuse and lapses in operations carried out by the Armed Forces.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park criticised the ban which goes against fundamental rights enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.

“The actions of the chief of the Armed Forces show a clear disregard for journalistic integrity and the public’s right to information,” she said.

There are now concerns Alipala’s personal safety is under threat.

In a separate incident, Philippine Star reporter Jarius Bondoc received death threats after exposing government corruption, and the NUJP reported Bondoc has called for assistance after receiving death threats.

Bondoc wrote a report on a government contract regarding a national broadband network project with China’s ZTE corp.

“This incident reveals the ongoing struggle for journalists trying to carry out their professional duties in the Philippines,” Park said.

“The IFJ supports the NUJP in calling for authorities to take action regarding these incidents, and stopping the harassment of media by the Armed Forces”.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries