Media Release: Philippines
January 17, 2013
Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of
Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in condemning the arrest and detention of
Carmelo Rima, publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly Island Sandigan, on orders of a regional trial court (RTC) judge
who claimed that an article in the paper maligned him.
an order issued on January 12, Judge Lelu Contreras directed Carmelo Rima,
publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly Island
Sandigan, to explain why he should not be held in contempt for an article
published that week. Before Rima was given the opportunity to address the
order, Contreras ordered Rima’s arrest and detention ahead of the hearing on
Rima was able to post the P20,000 bail set by Contreras, the judge left for
Manila preventing even the temporary release of Rima, who continues to be held
in detention at the Police Provincial Office in Camp Camacho.
to the order, the article “degraded [the] court, brought it into disrepute and
destroyed public confidence in it by alleging that the court is a ‘crime
scene…where documents were possibly crafted to suit [incumbent Catanduanes Gov.
Joseph] Cua’s naturalization.”
article reportedly also accused Contreras of helping to obtain and prepare Cua’s
have been filed with the Commission on Elections and the Bureau of Immigration
over the citizenship Cua, who is seeking re-election in May 2013.
The IFJ calls on the Filipino authorities to
recognize the value of public service journalism as carried out by Rima, rather
than continue his victimisation which undermines press freedom.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131
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