Reporter Harassed by Police in Philippines

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists

of the Philippines (NUJP) in its concern regarding reports that a journalist

was harassed by police in Olongapo City, in Philippines’

Zamales Province, on April 3, 2012.


According to an NUJP

report, Mahatma Randy Datu, a correspondent for the daily tabloid Pilipino Star Ngayon, was harassed by

Olongapo City Police Director Christopher Tambungan while covering a 12 hour

hostage situation.


Based on Datu’s account to the NUJP, he arrived in the area

after other media practitioners had already begun covering the hostage taking.

A police officer subsequently asked for media personnel to initiate

communications with the hostage taker, upon the latter’s request.


In response to the officer’s request, Datu and a number of other

journalists entered the compound which was the scene of the hostage-taking.


It is alleged that Datu was singled out for attention by

Police Director Tambungan, who challenged Datu’s right to be there and,

grabbing him by the shoulder, forced him out of the compound. As Datu exited through

the compound gate, he claims he felt a strong shove in his back that almost

caused him to fall to the ground.


“It is alarming to see that police officers will threaten and

harass journalists who are simply engaged in reporting legitimate news

stories,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.


“The IFJ calls for a full investigation to be conducted into

the complaints lodged by the journalist, with a view to ensuring these threats

are not repeated.”


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950



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