The elected Governor
of North Cotabato, Emmylou Mendoza confronted Malu Manar, journalist for dxND, Sun
Star Davao and Mindanews.com, 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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