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
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.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0950
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